That hasn’t changed during Daren Brown’s brief tenure.
The Mariners will try to improve to 3-0 under their interim manager Wednesday by completing their fourth sweep of the A’s in the teams’ last six series at Safeco Field.
Owner of the second-worst record in the AL, Seattle (44-70) fired Wakamatsu on Monday and summoned Brown from its Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma, Wash., where he had managed the last four seasons.
The Mariners responded to the move with a 3-1 win over Oakland that night. They followed with a 2-0 victory Tuesday, their 16th in 18 home games against their AL West rivals dating back to Aug. 24, 2008.
Franklin Gutierrez(notes) and Casey Kotchman(notes) each had two hits and drove in a run during Seattle’s third consecutive win at home, one shy of its season high from April 13-17. That streak began with two wins over the A’s (56-56).
Luke French(notes) (1-2, 4.73 ERA) will try to help Brown stay unbeaten by building off his first win in nearly a year. The left-hander, 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA since being recalled from Brown’s Tacoma club on July 28, allowed one run over a career-high eight innings in Friday’s 7-1 home victory over Kansas City.
“He kept the ball down and pitched a pretty good game,” Royals manager Ned Yost told the Mariners’ official website. “When we would start to put some runners on, he would find a way to pitch himself out of it.”
Braden began his topsy-turvy season by allowing one run and four hits over seven innings against the Mariners on April 6. He didn’t get a decision in that 2-1 win but followed that start with three consecutive victories.
After losing his next two outings, Braden recorded the 19th perfect game in major league history May 9 but lost his next five decisions. That skid ended with consecutive victories to conclude last month, but he suffered the loss in Friday’s 5-1 defeat to division-leading Texas, allowing four runs and five hits over six innings.
He ended the outing at 88 pitches after his jaw began feeling tender following a dental procedure earlier that week.
“I thought he was throwing the ball fine,” catcher Kurt Suzuki(notes) told the A’s official website. “He obviously wasn’t feeling too hot. He said his head was kind of hurting, and you could tell he wasn’t feeling all the great on the mound, but he’s going to go out there and battle.”
The left-hander will make his first start in Seattle since Sept. 11, 2007, and is 0-1 with an 8.71 ERA in three games there. Braden is 1-1 with a 4.84 ERA in four career starts against the Mariners.
Oakland, which dropped to third place in the AL West and nine games back of Texas after Tuesday’s loss, has split its last 20 games but has dropped six of eight on the road.