After losing the season-series opener on April 6, Oakland (33-31) has won seven in a row from Seattle (31-35), including a 2-0 victory on Tuesday. It’s the A’s longest winning streak in the series since taking 11 in a row from June 22-Sept. 18, 1992.
Oakland, looking for its season-high sixth win a row overall, begins play one-half game behind Texas in the AL West.
Joe Blanton allowed five hits over eight-plus innings Tuesday to continue Oakland’s trend of stellar starting pitching against Seattle during the winning streak. A’s starters are 7-0 with a 0.72 ERA over the last seven games against the Mariners, allowing no runs on three occasions.
They’ve also pitched into the seventh inning in six of those meetings.
Oakland will send Dan Haren (5-5, 3.61 ERA) to the mound. Haren is 2-1 with a 4.18 ERA in four career starts against Seattle—all recorded last season.
The right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.22 ERA in his last seven starts. He allowed one run and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings of a 114-pitch outing to earn the victory in a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees on Friday.
“I’m definitely not having as quick innings as I’ve had earlier in the year, but as long as they’re zeros I don’t care how many pitches I throw,” Haren said.
Oakland welcomed shortstop Bobby Crosby and designated hitter Frank Thomas back to the lineup Tuesday. Crosby went 1-for-3 after missing three games with a bone bruise on his right hand and Thomas was 1-for-4 after he missed a game with a sore right quadriceps.
The Mariners have dropped 17 of their last 23 games at Oakland and realize they have to change that if they are to get back into contention.
“We’d like to reverse that trend,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “We have not had a lot of success here and we’d like to change that.”
Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Suzuki is batting .517 (31-for-60) during his run, and he is 8-for-17 in four games at Oakland this year.
Mariners starter Joel Pineiro (5-6, 5.13) is still looking for his first win of the season over Oakland. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.92 ERA in two starts against the A’s this season.
Pineiro is 1-4 with a 7.09 ERA over his last six outings. He turned in another poor start when he gave up seven runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 7-3 loss to Minnesota on Thursday.
The right-hander is 0-2 with an 8.04 ERA over his last three road starts.