American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 29th (All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (95-66) at Seattle Mariners (71-90), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Sonny Gray (4-3, 2.90) Seattle - Erasmo Ramirez (5-2, 4.56)
(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics get one more chance to prepare for the playoffs as they wrap a three-game series on Sunday with Seattle in Eric Wedge's final game as the manager of the Mariners.
Oakland lost for the third time in four games with Saturday's 7-5 setback to Seattle, locking the Athletics into the second seed in the American League. That set up an AL Division Series rematch with Detroit Tigers, who won last year's ALDS in five games over Oakland.
"We know how deep they are and how talented they are," said Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss. "It's one of the tougher matchups you can draw, but if you win you can be better prepared for the next series."
Brad Miller hit a pair of home runs, including a fifth-inning grand slam, for Seattle on Saturday, while Justin Smoak added a two-run homer. Brandon Maurer gave up two runs over 5 1/3 innings to get the victory, the Mariners' third in four games.
"I'm so happy for him because he's been great in his last three outings," said Wedge about Maurer. "He's been really consistent and making strides in his composure and handling emotions."
They'll try to send Wedge out a winner today after he announced on Friday he would not return to the club for next season. It was thought that the lack of a long-term contract was the reason, but he cited a differing of opinion for the club from CEO Howard Lincoln, president Chuck Armstrong and general manager Jack Zduriencik.
"Let me be clear here, the contract is not the reason I'm not coming back here," Wedge told Seattle's website before Saturday's game. "If they offered me a five-year contract, I'm not coming back here. So let's be clear with that. Where they see the club -- they being Howard, Chuck and Jack -- and where I see the club and my vision of the future is just different. That's as plain as I can make it."
Oakland got a two-run homer from Moss on Saturday as he became the first A's hitter to reach 30 home runs in a season since Jack Cust hit 33 in 2008.
Alberto Callaspo added a solo shot, but Jarrod Parker was plagued by the longball and yielded seven runs over 4 1/3 innings.
Oakland played without Yoenis Cespedes, who left Friday's game with shoulder stiffness and is day-to-day.
Sonny Gray gets the call for the A's today and is 4-3 with a 2.90 earned run average in 11 games this year, including nine starts.
The rookie right-hander won his second decision in a row last Sunday despite giving up four runs over five innings versus Minnesota. He allowed seven hits and a walked a pair, but got plenty of support in an 11-7 outcome.
Gray, 23, faced Seattle for the first time on Aug. 20 and yielded two runs over seven innings of a no-decision..
Wedge, meanwhile, hands the ball to Erasmo Ramirez for his finale. The 23- year-old righty has gone 5-2 on the year with a 4.56 ERA in 13 games (12 starts).
Ramirez has not won since Aug. 29, going 0-1 with a 3.22 ERA in four September outings. He did pitch well in a no-decision versus the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 20, charged with two unearned runs over six-plus innings.
Ramirez has not faced Oakland this year, but went 0-1 with a 1.76 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance against the A's last season.
Seattle has won 11 of the 18 matchups with Oakland this season.
09/29 10:32:50 ET