Mariners-Athletics Preview

The Associated Press

The Oakland Athletics' remarkable run of starting pitching - and their season high-tying winning streak - is over.

Still, another solid outing from Bartolo Colon can help the A's finish the first half at .500.

Oakland completes its three-game series with the visiting Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

With the A's looking to extend an Oakland record with an eighth consecutive starting pitcher allowing one run or fewer, rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker was charged with six runs - five earned - in 4 2-3 innings of Saturday's 7-1 loss.

Oakland (42-43) had won five in a row to return to .500 for the first time since it was 22-22 on May 22.

The A's will complete their six-game homestand with Colon (6-7, 4.05 ERA) making his second start since a stint on the disabled list with a strained oblique. The veteran right-hander went six innings in Tuesday's 3-2 win over Boston, giving up two runs - one earned.

"I feel good about myself, and I feel good about the win," Colon told the A's official website through translator Ariel Prieto. "The results were good, and I was just trying to pitch five or six innings."

In Colon's two wins against Seattle this season, he allowed one total run in 15 innings. However, the right-hander was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in an 8-7 home loss to the Mariners on April 7.

After snapping a three-game skid Saturday, Seattle (36-50) will try to win two straight for the first time since June 16-17 with Felix Hernandez (6-5, 3.26 ERA) on the mound.

Two days after being named an All-Star, the right-hander surrendered eight hits and four runs - all in the sixth inning - in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to Baltimore.

"The whole ballgame was that inning," said Hernandez, 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA in his previous three starts.

The right-hander, whose 13 wins versus Oakland are his most against any team, will make his fourth start in this AL West matchup in 2012.

Hernandez has surrendered just one homer - a Jemile Weeks solo shot on April 7 - in 21 1-3 innings in those outings, but he'll face an Oakland team that's gone deep in 17 straight games.

The A's haven't homered in 18 in a row since July 30-Aug. 17, 1999.

Josh Reddick, who Saturday became the first A's player since Nick Swisher in 2006 to hit 20 home runs before the All-Star break, is batting .438 (7 for 16) in Seattle's four games in Oakland this season.

"He belongs and I think he believes that he is one of the elite right fielders in the league,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Reddick is 2 for 9 against Hernandez in 2012 and 3 for 15 in his career.

Ichiro Suzuki, who snapped a career-worst 0-for-23 skid Saturday, has 21 more at-bats that any other hitter who's faced Colon. Suzuki is 24 for 79 in that matchup.

Suzuki, who started a game out of the No. 2 hole for the first time in his career Saturday, will again bat behind Dustin Ackley in the series finale.

"It's one helluva frustrating process to sit down and put a lineup together right now because people aren't doing their job," manager Eric Wedge said. "After a while, you've got to get tired of getting your teeth kicked in.''

These divisional rivals will play just six times in the second half.

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