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American Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 21st (All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (58-67) at Oakland Athletics (71-54), 3:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Hisashi Iwakuma (11-6, 2.95) Oakland - A.J. Griffin (10-8, 3.76)
(Sports Network) - A.J. Griffin has managed to keep the ball in the park over his last two starts, but that may be because he has had trouble finding the plate.
The Oakland hurler looks for a little more control on Wednesday afternoon as the Athletics conclude a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Griffin is second in the majors with 28 homers allowed, but has not been taken deep over consecutive no-decisions. However, he has walked 11 batters over that time after giving up just 32 over his first 23 outings.
The right-hander walked five and gave up four hits in Oakland's 3-2 win over Cleveland on Friday. Griffin was charged with just one unearned run, leaving him 10-8 on the year with a 3.76 earned run average.
"Seeing him throw 104 pitches after five innings is a little against the grain for him," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said on his team's website. "The ball was up in the zone at times, which you don't normally see out of him, either. He battled himself."
The 25-year-old Griffin has won his fair share of battles versus Seattle in his brief career, going 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA in four previous meetings.
Griffin should see Stephen Vogt behind the plate today after catcher Derek Norris suffered a broken left big toe in last night's 7-4 loss. The injury is likely to put Norris on the disabled list along with Oakland's other catcher John Jaso, who is out with a concussion.
Norris was hurt in a collision at the plate with Seattle's Nick Franklin during a five-run eighth inning for the Mariners that completed a rally for a 7-4 Seattle win. Franklin was also hurt on the play, suffering a lacerated left knee after getting cut by Norris' spike.
Franklin, who homered and drove in three runs in the game, is likely to miss a few games.
Brad Miller and Kendrys Morales also drove in runs during the big eighth inning, one that saw Seattle also score twice on wild pitches.
"When they got four runs early in the game we never gave up until the end," Franklin said. "It was just one of those games where we just had to grind it out."
Seattle moved to 4-4 on a nine-game road trip, while Oakland has the same record over a nine-game homestand and is 1 1/2 games back of Texas for first place in the AL West.
Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and Nate Freiman added a solo shot in the loss, just the second for Oakland in its last six games. However, Sean Doolittle did not record an out in the eighth inning and took the loss.
"I can't think of anything else," Doolittle said of his struggles after being charged with four runs on four hits. "Deception is not there. For whatever reason they're picking it up. I'm leaving it thigh-high in the middle-third of the plate."
The A's try to rebound on Wednesday against Hisashi Iwakuma, who has yielded two runs or fewer in five of his past six starts and snapped a two-start slide with Friday's 3-1 win at Texas.
The 32-year-old righty hurled seven innings of one-run ball, scattering four hits and three walks while striking out six. Iwakuma moved to 11-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 26 starts this season.
Iwakuma has faced the A's four times already this season, going 2-2 with a 3.96 ERA.
Seattle has the edge in the head-to-head series with Oakland this season, as the M's have won nine of the 15 meetings.
08/21 10:32:40 ET
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