Seattle (14-9) improved to 4-0 against Oakland (8-12) this year with a dramatic 8-7 win Friday. With two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jose Lopez capped a 14-pitch at-bat with a bases-loaded single off Russ Springer to score Endy Chavez.
“I got real nervous. I didn’t want to strike out. Everybody is waiting for me to get an RBI, a walk, whatever,” Lopez said. “After a couple of fouls I say, ‘all right, it’s my time.’”
The Mariners came back from a 6-1 deficit as Lopez and Russell Branyan each finished with three RBIs.
Catcher Kenji Johjima was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, and went 1-for-4 in his first action since April 15. Johjima is hitting .375 (12-for-32) with three homers and 11 RBIs in his last nine games against Oakland.
Seattle’s seven-game winning streak over Oakland is its longest in series history. The Mariners have extended that success this season partly because of how they have pitched to Matt Holliday, Kurt Suzuki and Jason Giambi - a trio that has gone a combined 9-for-42 (.214).
The Athletics are 2-8 against left-handed starters, and will face southpaw Jarrod Washburn (3-1, 3.42 ERA) on Saturday.
Washburn has faced Oakland more than any other team, going 8-15 with a 4.10 ERA in 34 games. He has never beaten the Athletics at Safeco Field, going 0-3 with a 5.46 ERA in five starts.
He will try to bounce back from his first loss of the season after he allowed six runs over 5 1-3 innings Sunday in an 8-0 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Washburn struck out nine after getting a total of 17 in his first three outings this season.
“My stuff was pretty good. I just didn’t have command of it,” he said. “I missed my spots quite a few times and fell behind on a few hitters, but I know exactly what I was doing wrong and I’m still very confident in my stuff. It’s just a matter of having the command that I had the first three times out, and getting more consistent in my delivery.”
Giambi is hitting just .179 (7-for-39) with four RBIs in his career against Washburn.
Rookie Trevor Cahill (0-2, 5.40) will make his fifth career start for Oakland, and is still in search of his first major-league win. Cahill gave up seven runs over a season-low 2 2-3 innings to Tampa Bay in an 8-2 loss on April 24.
This will be his second outing against Seattle. He pitched very well in a 1-0 loss on April 12, allowing one run and two hits over seven innings.
On Saturday, the teams will wear throwback uniforms from the 1939 Seattle Rainiers and Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League.