Wed, 07 Jun 2023

Back home, Mariners look to halt slump vs. lowly A's

Field Level Media
22 May 2023, 16:55 GMT+10

In Seattle, they've started calling it the "King's treatment."

It's in reference to former ace "King Felix" Hernandez, who spent most of his Mariners career stymied by poor run support.

Seattle's starters seem to be getting the same treatment this season.

The Mariners open a three-game series with the lowly Oakland Athletics on Monday night at T-Mobile Park with a .226 team batting average, the second-worst mark in the majors to San Diego's .222.

Seattle spoiled another quality start by George Kirby on Sunday in a 3-2 loss at Atlanta that wrapped up a nine-game trip. The Mariners managed one hit over the first six innings against rookie Jared Shuster, who earned his first major-league victory.

"It's time to go home," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Obviously, we didn't do enough offensively again (Sunday).

"It's hard to overcome when you don't put the ball in play. Whether it's, you know, more changeups than we were expecting or more life on the fastball, whatever, at some point you've got to cut down your swing and get the ball in play."

The Mariners' only runs Sunday came on solo homers by Jarred Kelenic and rookie Jose Caballero.

Seattle dropped to 5-16 when scoring three runs or fewer and is 4-12 in one-run games. It was the 10th time this season the Mariners were held to two runs or fewer and the 21st time they've struck out more than 10 times.

Highlighting Seattle's struggles is reigning American League Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez, who has a slash line of .204/.280/.656.

Collectively, the Mariners have a .681 on-base plus slugging percentage, tied for 26th among the 30 MLB teams with Oakland, which is on pace to finish 34-128 this season.

The A's lost 2-0 Sunday at Houston as Framber Valdez threw a four-hitter.

It's the third time Oakland has been shut out in its past 10 games and seventh time this season.

The A's have lost four in a row, seven of eight and 12 of their past 14 games.

"I think we can build on this series," A's manager Mark Kotsay said Sunday. "I know the wins weren't there. From a standpoint of getting better and keeping us in games, they did that this weekend, and if we can continue to do that, it will lead to more success."

Seattle swept a three-game series at Oakland on May 2-4.

The A's could get a boost with the return of outfielder/first baseman Seth Brown, who has been out since suffering a Grade 2 left oblique strain April 8 on a check swing.

Brown, who led the A's in home runs (25) and RBIs (73) last season, went 5-for-13 in four rehabilitation games - three with Class A Stockton and another with Triple-A Las Vegas.

Kotsay said Brown is expected to meet the big-league club Monday, when a determination will be made on whether he's ready to be activated.

Oakland lefty Kyle Muller (1-3, 7.71 ERA) is scheduled to start the series opener against M's right-hander Luis Castillo (2-2, 3.31). Muller will be facing Seattle for the first time; Castillo is 1-2 with a 5.17 ERA in three career starts against the A's.

--Field Level Media

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