Athletics-Mariners Preview

The Associated Press

The Oakland Athletics still have a chance at home-field advantage throughout the postseason, but they'll need a lot of help.

The A's attempt to move closer to the best record in baseball Saturday by again beating the Seattle Mariners, who are playing one of their final games with manager Eric Wedge.

Oakland (95-65) has already clinched a second straight AL West title, and home-field advantage for at least the division series. The club, though, still has a chance at having it for the entire postseason, trailing Boston by two games with two to play.

"That's key. That's something we were really looking and hoping to do," manager Bob Melvin said. "We know we're going home. We know we're going to be home for a week, and that's a good thing."

The A's hold the tiebreaker on the Red Sox if the teams conclude the regular season tied. However, Boston can clinch home-field advantage with a win at Baltimore on Saturday night.

Oakland remained alive in the race by beating Seattle 8-2 on Friday in the opener of this three-game series.

Prior to the game, Wedge told the Mariners that he will not return as manager next season, saying it became obvious he did not have a future with the organization.

The A's hope to improve their status for at least a few hours by sending Jarrod Parker (12-7, 3.74 ERA) to the mound.

The right-hander won 13 games as a rookie last year, and moved closer to matching it by going 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA over his past 10 starts. That stretch includes a 2-1 home victory over the Mariners (70-90) on Aug. 19, tossing an eight-hitter for his first complete game. He's 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA over his last three starts against the division rival.

Parker enters this meeting coming off another strong performance from last Saturday, yielding one run in six innings of a 9-1 win over Minnesota.

It's unclear if the A's will have Yoenis Cespedes available after he left the series opener with recurring shoulder soreness. It was his first start in left field after appearing as a designated hitter in each of his previous nine games.

Cespedes has a .226 average with five homers in 27 games as a DH compared .243 and 21 in 108 contests as an outfielder.

"It gets him into the flow of the game, offensively and defensively," manager Bob Melvin told the team's official website.

Coco Crisp is 11 for 27 (.407) with two homers, six RBIs and eight runs over the past seven games. The center fielder doubled on two of his four hits Friday, scoring a run.

The Mariners are losers of 12 of 16 at home thanks in large part to a .207 average.

The venue hasn't mattered for Kyle Seager, who went 0 for 4 in the series opener. The third baseman is batting .088 (6 for 68) over the past 19 overall games, as his season average has plummeted 22 points to .261.

He owns a .177 average in 17 meetings with Oakland this year, and is 2 for 14 in his career against Parker.

Seattle is sending Brandon Maurer (4-8, 6.48) to the mound, as he seeks his first win as a starter since beating the Los Angeles Angels on April 25. The rookie right-hander is 0-5 with a 6.98 ERA in eight starts since.

Maurer pitched well enough to win Monday, yielding two runs in seven innings of a 6-5 loss in 12 to Kansas City.

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