No teams have played worse since the All-Star break than the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners. Perhaps it is fitting then that the AL West rivals have plenty of meetings left over their final 34 games.
The Athletics and Mariners continue their four-game set at Safeco Field on Saturday after splitting the first two games of the series.
Oakland (58-70) and Seattle (47-81) own two of the worst records in baseball since the All-Star break, with the Athletics going 7-26 and Mariners 10-23 (tied with Washington) in that span. The clubs still have eight meetings left in a season series that Oakland leads 6-5.
Seattle lost 2-0 on Thursday, but ended a seven-game losing streak with a 7-5 victory on Friday. Jose Lopez singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and catcher Jeff Clement, who is hitting .350 with six doubles and nine RBIs in August, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
“He takes a couple steps forward and occasionally a step back,” said Mariners manager Jim Riggleman about Clement. “He took a big step forward tonight with a couple big hits against left-handers.”
Mariners left fielder Raul Ibanez is 0-for-6 in this series, and 2-for-18 in five home games against the A’s this year. Ibanez entered this series batting .440 (33-for-75) with 24 RBIs in 18 games in August.
Both teams will start left-handers on Saturday.
Seattle’s Jarrod Washburn (5-13, 4.95) has lost four straight starts, posting a 7.36 ERA in the process. He was tagged for eight runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 13-5 loss at the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
“I didn’t throw the ball good,” Washburn said.
Washburn is trying to avoid tying teammate Carlos Silva for the most losses in the AL.
Since joining Seattle in 2006, the left-hander is 1-4 with a 4.97 ERA in eight starts against the A’s. He lost his lone 2008 outing against them on July 7 by yielding four runs over eight innings in a 4-3 defeat.
Dana Eveland (7-8, 4.46) earned the win over Washburn in that game and will oppose him again. Eveland - born in Olympia, Washington - improved to 2-0 with a 5.06 ERA in two starts against Seattle this year by yielding three runs over 5 1-3 innings.
This will be Eveland’s first start since he was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma on Aug. 3. He went 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts with the River Cats to earn his way back to the majors.
“It wasn’t my favorite thing that’s happened to me, but I feel like I did a pretty decent job of taking advantage of the opportunity to work on some things,” he told Oakland’s official Web site.