Seattle (56-62) at Oakland (66-52)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 60° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Tue Aug 15, 2006
  • TV: FSNW, KICU
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Oakland Athletics continue to find ways to beat the Seattle Mariners.

They’ll look to make it 14 straight against the Mariners and add to their AL West lead when the teams continue a three-game set at McAfee Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Oakland (66-52) won its fourth straight and 10th in 11 games with a 5-4 victory to open the series Monday. The 13-game winning streak over Seattle (56-62) is the longest the Athletics have had over one opponent since they won 16 straight against the New York Yankees from 1989-91.

Nick Swisher was the hero in the latest win, belting a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning. Swisher went 2-for-4 with three RBIS and Mark Ellis and Frank Thomas also homered.

Oakland increased its NL West lead to 5 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers. Seattle fell 10 games back.

The losing streak is the Mariners’ second-longest to an opponent in franchise history. They lost 15 in a row against Boston during the 1977-78 seasons.

“That’s the game of baseball. It’s part of the game. Emotional swings like that happen,” said Ichiro Suzuki, who got picked off at first base for Monday’s final out.

He can’t recall another stretch like this against one team in his career.

“I have a horrible memory,” he said through an interpreter. “Lately my brain has been destroyed.”

The Mariners have also lost 14 straight games against AL West rivals since beating the Angels 6-2 on June 11.

Oakland will get a chance to try to defeat Seattle starter Joel Pineiro (7-10, 5.91 ERA) for the fifth time this year. Pineiro is 0-4 with an 8.69 ERA against the A’s in 2006.

He’s lasted fewer innings in each successive start against Oakland, giving up four runs and eight hits over 2 2-3 innings in his last one—a 5-2 loss at Safeco Field on Aug. 5.

The right-hander has also lost two straight starts after allowing six runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings in an 8-2 loss at Texas last Thursday.

Seattle is playing without first baseman Richie Sexson, who left the team Monday to be with his pregnant wife. He was placed on the bereavement list and Mike Morse was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to fill his roster spot.

“It obviously takes a big bat out of the middle of our lineup,” manager Mike Hargrove said.

Athletics center fielder Mark Kotsay is expected to make his first start since Aug. 6 on Tuesday after being out of the lineup due to back spasms.

Kirk Saarloos (4-6, 4.89) makes his first start since July 5 for Oakland. Saarloos, who will be on a pitch count, is 3-5 with a 5.37 ERA in 10 starts this season.

The right-hander has pitched well out of the bullpen since early July, posting a 2.87 ERA in seven relief appearances.

Saarloos is making his second start of the year against the Mariners. He gave up two runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 6-3 victory on May 18.

Suzuki is 7-for-14 in his career against Saarloos.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Pineiro LAA vs. K. Saarloos Cle
8-13 Record 7-7
6.36 ERA 4.75
87 K 52
64 BB 53
1.65 WHIP 1.66

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Aug 15