Playoff-hopeful A's aim to extend win streak over Mariners
(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics try to beat the Seattle Mariners for the sixth straight time on Saturday when they continue a three-game series at the Coliseum.
Oakland continued its recent mastery of the Mariners in Friday's opener, as Coco Crisp finished a triple shy of the cycle and scored three times, helping the A's to an 8-2 win.
Crisp clubbed a leadoff home run in the first, while Stephen Drew added a two- run shot for the A's, who hold a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the final AL wild card spot.
"It starts with him all the way around," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Crisp.
Oakland also moved within three games of Texas for the top spot in the AL West after the Rangers fell to the Angels on Friday.
A.J. Griffin (7-1) allowed one run on four hits and two walks over 5 2/3 frames to help the A's earn their fifth straight victory against Seattle.
Trayvon Robinson and Michael Saunders each smacked a solo shot, while Blake Beavan (10-11) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings.
Heading to the hill for the A's on Saturday will be hard-throwing righty Dan Straily, who is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA. Straily did not get a decision on Monday in Texas, but pitched well, allowing two runs (1 earned) and five hits with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings and left with a two-run lead.
"If I don't give up a few runs, then it's a different story in the game, so it's not on any one person," Straily insisted. "It's definitely a team effort."
Straily has never faced the Mariners, who will hand the ball to lefty Jason Vargas.
Vargas lost his second consecutive decision on Sunday against the Rangers, as he surrendered three runs and eight hits in six innings. He has just one win in his last seven starts, but is 14-11 on the year with a 3.94 ERA.
"I felt like I threw the ball well," Vargas said after his last outing. "Got out of some situations when I had to."
Vargas lost to the A's back on Sept. 9 and is 5-5 in 14 games (12 starts) against them with a 3.29 ERA.
The A's lead the season series with Seattle, 10-7, and have won seven of the last eight matchups between the teams.
09/29 08:59:25 ET