Oakland (75-83) is coming off a 14-4 loss to Texas on Wednesday, and has given up 20 runs while dropping the final two games of that series.
“We just made a lot of mistakes, and we don’t want to do that … against a lineup like that,” Oakland manager Bob Geren told the Athletics’ official Web site. “We pitched well the first two games of the series, but the second half of that game wasn’t the way to pitch.”
A’s starters Josh Outman and Dana Eveland combined to allow 10 runs and 18 hits over 11 innings in the last two games against the Rangers. In 16 games this year against the Mariners, Oakland’s starting staff has recorded a 3.83 ERA.
If Seattle (58-101) is swept in this series, it will tie the franchise record for most losses in a season. The Mariners dropped 104 games in 1978, their second season of existence.
This season’s club had a $117 million payroll and lofty expectations, but instead come into this game having lost 14 of their last 15. Ichiro Suzuki had two hits and scored twice in a 6-4 loss to the playoff-bound Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.
The latest defeat came after a published report that an unnamed Mariners player threatened to “knock out” the team’s highest profile player.
“You’re talking about a guy who is more prepared to play than anybody probably in this game,” closer J.J. Putz said. “He goes out every single season and has 200 hits and scores 100 runs. All of a sudden people talk about knocking him out. That’s the one thing that’s usually sacred in there.”
Suzuki, who had no comment, is hitting .311 this season but just .290 (18-for-62) against the A’s this season with 16 singles.
Neither got a decision in the Athletics’ 5-3 win on Sunday. Gallagher yielded three runs, four hits and struck out five through 6 2-3 innings during his first career start against Seattle, while Morrow—who took a no-hitter into the sixth—allowed three runs, two hits and walked five in 6 1-3.
“Sometimes it’s losing concentration at the end of an inning, but I’m going to walk guys,” said Morrow, who threw 7 2-3 no-hit innings in his first career start against the New York Yankees on Sept. 5. “It’s definitely something I need to bring down. The walks hurt me in terms of pitch count. I need to keep them off base.”
Morrow was 1-2 with a 1.47 ERA and converted 10 of 12 save opportunities in 40 games as a reliever this season before moving into the rotation. Since then, he’s gone 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA.
The A’s swept the Mariners last week in Oakland, and improved to 10-6 against Seattle this year.