With both of the wild cards spots on the line this weekend, the Mariners will open the last series of their homestand against the A's tonight.
It'll be James Paxton's sixth career start in Safeco Field, and hopefully, his eightH consecutive start allowing two or fewer runs. He last ran into the A's at the beginning of the month, allowing four hits, two runs, and three walks through 7 2/3 innings and eking out his fifth win of the year despite some antics from the bullpen. Right now, he's 5-2 with a 3.35 xFIP and 0.9 fWAR on the season. Among rookie starting pitchers in the American League, Paxton currently ranks first with a 1.87 ERA and .255 BABIP and third with a home rate of 0.51 per nine innings. He has not given up a home run in his last 36 2/3 innings pitched.
Speaking of home runs, Athletics' right-hander Jason Hammel has given up 11 in 10 starts since his trade from Chicago to Oakland, hitting an all-time low with three homers in three innings against the Braves last month. During his last appearance against Seattle, Hammel managed to tame his ERA with three hits, a walk, a home run, and five strikeouts through eight innings. He's working on a three-game streak with two or fewer runs given up, but has also gone 2-5 with a 4.58 xFIP and -0.4 fWAR over his last two months with Oakland.
Get pumped about this game, you guys. Go Mariners.
- Mariners vs. Athletics, 7:10 p.m. PST
- Tonight's game will be televised on ROOT Sports, broadcast on 710 ESPN, and available to out-of-market fans at MLB TV here.
- Dustin Ackley will return to the lineup tonight after sitting out for four games with a sore foot.
- Ballpark giveaway: Mariners neon sunglasses (offered to the first 20,000 fans).
- Wild card update: The Mariners are currently half a game behind the Tigers for the second wild card and 1.5 games behind the A's for the first wild card. The Tigers open a three-game homestand against the Indians tonight, and are leading Cleveland through five and a half innings, 3-1.
|OAKLAND A'S||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Coco Crisp - CF||Austin Jackson - CF|
|Jonny Gomes - LF||Dustin Ackley - LF|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Derek Norris - DH||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Jed Lowrie - SS||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Nate Freiman - 1B||Michael Saunders - RF|
|Geovany Soto - C||Mike Zunino - C|
|Nick Punto - 2B||Logan Morrison - 1B|
|Sam Fuld - RF||Brad Miller - SS|
|Jason Hammel - RHP||James Paxton - LHP|