(Sports Network) – The Oakland Athletics go for a third straight win this evening when they open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
The A’s continued to swing the bats well this weekend, as they won the final two games of their three-game set with the Minnesota Twins, rallying for a victory in Sunday’s rubber match. Ryan Sweeney’s two-run double was part of a six-run third inning that lifted Oakland to a 7-3 win. Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham, Conor Jackson and Cliff Pennington added RBI singles during the third-inning rally, which included seven straight hits and pulled Oakland out of a 3-0 deficit.
The A’s, whose .316 average and .388 on-base-percentage are tops in the league since the All-Star break, collected 11 hits — the 16th game in a row they had at least eight to set a new franchise record. All 16 games have come after the break and the team is 10-6 in that stretch.
Brandon McCarthy (4-5) benefited from the outburst and earned the win despite giving up three runs in the first three innings, including two in the first. He threw six innings, giving up eight hits while striking out nine and walking zero.
“They hit some good pitches early on. I thought his stuff was pretty good the whole game,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin.
Hoping for some of that run support tonight will be righty Trevor Cahill, who was brilliant his last time out. Cahill snapped a four-decision losing streak on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, scattering four hits with four walks over 7 1/3 scoreless innings to run his record to 9-9 on the year to go along with a 3.58 ERA. Cahill has faced the Mariners eight times and is 2-3 with a 2.42 ERA.
Seattle, meanwhile, will rely on young right-hander Blake Beavan, who is 1-2 with a 3.04 ERA. Beavan hasn’t pitched since July 23 when he lost in Boston, allowing three runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. This will be his first-ever assignment against the A’s.
Beavan’s spot in the rotation seemed to be solidified over the weekend, as the Mariners sent starters Doug Fister and Erik Bedard away in trades. Fister was shipped to Detroit, while Bedard went to Boston.
The Mariners were denied a series win on Sunday, as they dropped the rubber match of their three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-1. Franklin Gutierrez had two hits and Casper Wells knocked in the lone run for Seattle, which has lost 14 times since the All-Star break. Jason Vargas (6-10) was pegged with the loss after giving up six runs — four earned — on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings.
“It’s been a rough stretch. I haven’t really pitched good since coming back from the break,” Vargas said. “Just not making the big pitches when I need to and kind of getting that pitch count up early. I just need to pitch better and keep the team in the ballgame, because right now I’m not doing that.”
Seattle has won six of its 10 matchups with the A’s.