The Oakland Athletics travel up to the Emerald City for a three game series with the Seattle Mariners in a battle of the bottom half of the AL West. The Mariners looked poised to hang around the AL West race but the bottom fell out as they lost 17 straight around the All Star break to free fall into last place. The Mariners now sit 15 games back of first place while the A's are 11 1/2 games back.
The A's have found their stroke recently as they have a 16-game streak of 8+ hits, which is a club record. After a first half filled with offensive inconsistency, Oakland is suddenly hitting like Billy Beane probably imagined when he made moves for Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham and David DeJesus. The key has been the entire team contributing. Jemile Weeks and Coco Crisp at the top, Willingham, Matsui and Conor Jackson in the middle, and Cliff Pennington, Kurt Suzuki and Scott Sizemore at the bottom. It has been a complete team effort that has slowly gotten the A's out of last place.
They face a Mariners squad that is continuing a rebuilding process. They dealt away Erik Bedard over the weekend and have fully dedicated themselves to Dustin Ackley at second base. Ackley was called up in mid-June and much like A's second base prospect Jemile Weeks, he has established himself as a bonafide force putting together a line of .306/.366/.534 with five home runs and 20 RBIs.
The A's playoff hopes currently sit somewhere between slim and none. However, a sweep of Seattle could get the A's back into single digits back of the Rangers. They've got a lot of work in front of them, but at the very least a strong series up in the pacific northwest could provide some solid momentum.
3 game series vs Mariners @ SAFECO Field
|Tue 08/02 - Rich Harden vs. Felix Hernandez
||7:10 PM PDT|
|Wed 08/03 - Gio Gonzalez vs. Charlie Furbush
||12:40 PM PDT|