American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, June 26th
(All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (36-38) at Seattle Mariners (31-44), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.15)
Seattle - Jason Vargas (7-7, 4.66)
(Sports Network) - A pair of American League West inhabitants resume a three-
game set tonight as the Oakland Athletics target a series victory over the
Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
The Athletics needed only one run in last night's series-opening 1-0 triumph
and got seven shutout innings from Tom Milone. Milone struck out five batters
and did not issue a walk, while Grant Balfour hurled a scoreless eighth inning
before Ryan Cook closed the door in the ninth for his fifth save.
"After my last start here, I realized there is a lot of room in the outfield
just like in the Coliseum," Milone said. "It makes it a lot easier to throw
strikes and let them hit it and hopefully at people."
Seth Smith made a winner out of Milone with a solo home run in the top of the
second inning and both Brandon Inge and Brandon Moss reached base in the
three-hit attack for the A's, who opened a seven-game road trip on a high note
and have won 10 of their last 13 games.
Oakland will also visit the AL West-leading Texas Rangers on the journey.
Travis Blackley draws the start tonight for the A's and he is just 1-2 with a
3.15 earned run average in eight games (5 starts) this season. Blackley
pitched well in a no-decision his last time out in a 4-1 win over the Los
Angeles Dodgers, hurling eight innings of one-run ball with six K's and no
walks. He allowed two runs in six innings for his first win of the season the
start before versus San Diego on June 15.
Blackley, a left-hander, has never faced Seattle in his career. Blackley hopes
to get a boost from young star Yoenis Cespedes tonight. Cespedes is expected
to return to the outfield on Tuesday and had been the designated hitter over
the past week or so due to a sore left hamstring.
Seattle kicked off a 10-game homestand on a sour note and wasted a strong
start from Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez struck out 10 batters and yielded one run
in eight innings.
"You saw a complete performance by a young starting pitcher today," Seattle
manager Eric Wedge said of Ramirez's outing. "He has something now that he can
really work off of, now it's time to go back to work and get prepared for his
Jesus Montero had two of Seattle's game-high seven hits.
The Mariners will pin pitching duties on Jason Vargas tonight and he has
dropped three straight and four of his last six starts. Vargas was embarrassed
by Arizona in last Wednesday's 14-10 setback and surrendered 10 runs and nine
hits, including a career-high five home runs, in just 4 1/3 innings. The lousy
effort dropped Vargas to 7-7 in 16 starts and raised his ERA to 4.66.
Vargas, a left-hander, has allowed at least three runs in each of his previous
eight performances and has faced Oakland twice already this season, going 1-0
in that time. Vargas is 4-4 with a 3.64 ERA in 11 career games (9 starts)
against the Athletics.
Seattle is 5-3 this season against the A's.
06/26 10:42:39 ET