A's look to sweep Mariners for 9th win in a row
The Oakland Athletics seem to be starting their traditional second-half surge a bit early this season.
The A's won their eighth game in a row Saturday, holding on to defeat the Seattle Mariners 6-5 Saturday. Oakland will go for its first nine-game winning streak since 2013 in the series finale Sunday afternoon.
"We're confident, and everything is clicking right now," A's center fielder Ramon Laureano told MLB.com. "Just keep it rolling."
The Athletics' recent streak has been boosted by a power surge, even with slugger Khris Davis missing some games and eventually being placed on the 10-day injured list Friday with a left hip/oblique contusion.
Matt Chapman homered in the first inning Saturday, tying Davis for the team lead with his 12th of the season. The A's have hit 25 homers in their past 11 games.
"We have enough guys to hold the fort down," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "With (Mark) Canha swinging the bat like he is, and (Matt) Olson back, we have enough. Next man up. We have enough guys to do some good things offensively and still score a bunch of runs."
Canha homered for the third consecutive game Friday as the A's won the series opener 6-2. It was Canha's sixth homer in nine games.
"I guess you could say it's timely," Canha told MLB.com. "I'm filling his shoes. I'm trying to be Davis right now, and this is my best version of it. It always helps when you have that one guy where you're like, 'Yeah! He's up.' That happens to be me right now."
Canha has eight homers after hitting a career-high 17 last season.
"That's a lot of homers," Melvin said. "If you're looking for a replacement for Khris, that's the guy."
Olson hit a three-run homer in Friday's victory.
"We're riding a high right now, and when that happens, you have to ride the wave," Canha told MLB.com. "We're doing a good job of that. Just keep that going."
The A's will send left-hander Brett Anderson (5-3, 4.14 ERA) to the mound Sunday to face Mariners right-hander Mike Leake (3-5, 4.73). Anderson is 8-5 with a 2.38 ERA in 20 career appearances against the Mariners, including 19 starts; Leake is 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in nine starts versus Oakland.
The Mariners have lost the first five games on their six-game trip.
Rookie left-hander Yusei Kikuchi lasted just 3 1/ 3 innings Saturday in suffering his first loss since April 15.
"The way we've been going, I wanted to have a good game and turn the baton over to the next guy," Kikuchi said through an interpreter. "That didn't happen."
The Mariners did welcome third baseman Kyle Seager back. Seager, who suffered a hand injury in spring training, went 2-for-4 with a double in his season debut and lent some stability to a defense that has made the most errors in the majors.
"It was nice to see Kyle back in the lineup," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Kyle looked really good today, not just what he brings defensively, but with the approach to use the whole field going forward could be really important."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 26, 2019