Seattle (72-64) at Oakland (59-76)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 9:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 5, 2009
  • TV: FSNW, CSCA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Ichiro Suzuki(notes) continues to move closer to making baseball history. Matchups against the Oakland Athletics this season certainly haven’t hurt his cause.

Four hits shy of 2,000 for his career, Suzuki leads the Mariners as they try for their seventh straight win over the Athletics on Saturday night.

Seattle (72-64) has scored 13 runs in winning the first two of this four-game set. Suzuki had two hits and an RBI in the Mariners’ 6-3 win over the A’s (59-76) on Friday night to bring his career total to 1,996.

The nine-time All-Star is likely to become the second-fastest player in history to record 2,000 hits. Al Simmons reached that mark in 1,390 games, while Suzuki has played in 1,391.

Suzuki has had four or more hits in a single game 41 times in his career, including a contest against Oakland on May 25. Suzuki is batting .421 in eight games versus the A’s this year, helping the Mariners dominate the season series 11-3.

The 35-year-old right fielder is also drawing closer to becoming the first player with 200 hits or more in nine consecutive seasons. He needs nine more hits to break the mark he currently shares with Willie Keeler (1894-1901).

“We have a lot of games left to play, a lot of more baseball left in the season,” Suzuki said. “If there were only four or five games then I would be naturally conscious about it, but as of now I’m not.”

Suzuki is 7 for 17 in four games after missing eight straight due to a calf injury. Mariners veteran Ken Griffey Jr.(notes), meanwhile, was a late scratch Friday because of soreness in his left knee that has caused him to sit out seven of the last eight games.

Griffey, batting .218 with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs, was replaced by Mike Sweeney(notes).

Seattle will next face Oakland’s Brett Anderson(notes) (7-10, 4.42 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his last four starts.

The rookie left-hander surrendered four runs and seven hits in six innings of the A’s 9-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. It was the eighth time this season Anderson got either one run or none in support.

Anderson is 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts versus the Mariners.

Seattle will counter with Luke French(notes) (4-4, 4.62), who is coming off his worst start of the season. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five innings of Seattle’s 10-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night, a step back after the left-hander had gone 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in his previous three outings.

It was his sixth start since joining the Mariners in the July 31 trade that sent Jarrod Washburn(notes) to Detroit.

French is 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA in one start and two relief appearances against Oakland.

The A’s have scored three runs or fewer in nine of their last 13 games, losing seven of those contests.

Nomar Garciaparra(notes) was a bright spot at the plate for Oakland on Friday, going 2 for 4 and hitting his third homer of the season. He’d batted .222 in his previous 13 games.

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Starting Pitchers

L. French Min vs. B. Anderson LAD
4-5 Record 11-11
5.21 ERA 4.06
42 K 150
28 BB 45
1.71 WHIP 1.28

Scoreboard

Saturday, Sep 5