Athletics-Mariners Preview


While the Seattle Mariners have played well in any park of late, the Oakland Athletics continue to struggle on the road.

The Mariners look to add to their guests' rough road trip by extending the A's season-high losing streak to six games Saturday night.

Oakland (18-19) totaled 51 runs while sweeping Houston and the Los Angeles Angels to start 6-0 on the road, but has since scored 48 while losing 11 of 14 away from home. The A's opened their current 10-game trip by winning two of three at Yankee Stadium, then were held to eight runs while being swept in four games at Cleveland before managing five hits in a 6-3 loss at Seattle on Friday.

John Jaso had two of those hits and Jed Lowrie added two RBIs for Oakland, which had one hit in the first five innings against the Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma.

"Everybody has to pick everybody up and we're not doing that right now," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin, whose team is below .500 for the first time since starting 1-2 against the Mariners.

Seattle (17-19) has won nine of 13, including six of eight at home.

Lowrie hit .467 with two homers and six RBIs in the first seven road games, but he's batted .204 with those two RBIs in the last 13.

The A's hope seeing scheduled Seattle starter Brandon Maurer (2-4, 6.07 ERA) will produce the same results as the first time they faced him. The rookie right-hander allowed six runs, including a pair of two-run homers, in six innings of an 8-2 loss at Oakland in his major league debut April 4.

The 22-year-old Maurer will be pitching on 10 days rest, looking to bounce back after he gave up four runs and six hits in four innings of a 7-2 home loss to Baltimore on April 30.

"We're trying to manage his innings - and when we have opportunities to do that, we are going to do that," manager Eric Wedge told the Mariners' official website.

Raul Ibanez had a three-run homer and Kendrys Morales added three hits Friday for Seattle. Ibanez, who turns 41 next month, has appeared in three games in May but has gone 3 for 7 with four RBIs.

"It's always nice to contribute and the last few games I've played I guess have been better," he said.

Morales is batting .346 with in his last seven games and is 6 for 15 against scheduled Oakland starter Jarrod Parker (1-5, 7.34).

The right-hander left Monday's 7-3 loss at Cleveland with neck pain after he allowed four solo homers in five innings - matching the number of home runs he gave up in his previous six starts. Parker yielded 11 home runs in 29 starts last season.

He feels his neck problems might have something to do with his struggles in 2013.

"It's something that's been bothering me for a little bit," Parker said. "Obviously, those are pitches up in the zone. They're semi-uncharacteristic. I don't think, if I'm feeling 100 percent, they would be in that location."

Parker fell to 1-2 with a 5.94 ERA against the Mariners after he allowed four runs, including a three-run homer to Michael Morse, and three walks in five innings of a 7-1 home loss April 2.

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