Athletics-Mariners Preview

The Associated Press

No team fared worse against left-handed starters last season than the Seattle Mariners, and they didn't do so well in their first look at one two nights ago.

Things may not get easier against a southpaw they have never seen before.

Tommy Milone turned in a spectacular Oakland Athletics debut and gets his first look at the Mariners on Saturday night at Safeco Field.

Seattle (4-5) went 13-28 against left-handers in 2011 for the majors' worst mark. The Mariners' first 2012 matchup with a lefty didn't go well as they lost 5-3 after scoring twice over 7 1-3 innings against Texas' Derek Holland, who struck out eight - the most by a starter opposing them this season.

Milone, meanwhile, became the second pitcher to throw eight scoreless innings in his Oakland debut as he limited Kansas City to three hits and three walks in Monday's 1-0 home victory.

"When you first start the season, there's always going to be a little butterflies," Milone said. "I was just trying to control them as much as I could."

Milone, acquired in December in the deal that sent All-Star lefty Gio Gonzalez to Washington, became the third pitcher in Oakland history to throw eight scoreless innings and not record a strikeout.

"To me, I don't consider myself a strikeout pitcher," Milone said. "So I go after hitters, I want to throw as many strikes as I can and get 'em out there in the first three pitches."

Milone was the first starter for the Athletics (4-4) to not allow a run in 2012, and Bartolo Colon became the second by outdueling Felix Hernandez in Friday's 4-0 victory, which spoiled Seattle's home opener. Facing the Mariners for the third time this year, Colon yielded three hits and one walk over seven innings.

Cliff Pennington and Coco Crisp had third-inning RBIs and Jemile Weeks homered in the ninth as Oakland improved to 2-3 in the season series, scoring first against Seattle for the first time.

Cuban rookie Yoenis Cespedes went 0 for 4 with two more strikeouts to raise his major league-high total to 13. Cespedes still leads the A's with three homers and seven RBIs - all against Seattle in the finale of their two-game set in Japan and in last weekend's two games in Oakland.

The A's have failed to reach double digits in hits in all eight games for their longest such streak to start a season since 2001.

Mariners designated hitter Jesus Montero is 8 for 24 during a career-best seven-game hitting streak.

Right-hander Hector Noesi makes his fourth career start after an inauspicious Mariners debut Monday in an 11-5 loss at Texas. He allowed a career-high seven runs over three-plus innings.

"I was missing my spots," Noesi told the Mariners' official website. "I just have to concentrate for the next time. If I keep my ball down, I can get better."

Acquired along with Montero in the January deal that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees, Noesi allowed one run in 7 1-3 innings over three relief appearances against the A's as a rookie for New York last year.

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