It took a couple of rallies, but the Seattle Mariners have Oakland’s number this season so far. After dropping the series opener on Friday, Seattle took the final two games of the series. For the Mariners, this was their third series victory over the A’s, who were leading the division coming into Seattle before the Rangers passed them this weekend. The Mariners put a disappointing road series against the Angels behind them and moved up to 34-43, third place in the A.L. West and 10.5 games behind the Rangers.
Too Much Bartolo Colon. Even though Seattle has played the A’s well, they have no answer for Bartolo Colon. Colon outdueled Iwakuma to give Oakland a 6-3 win in the series opener. He’s won seven in a row, and he moved to 11-1 at Safeco Field, the best record for any pitcher with at least seven decisions at Safeco. For Seattle fans, it was a rare back-to-back losses from games started by Hernandez and Iwakuma. Iwakuma has lost back-to-back decisions against the A’s, although he looked stronger than his previous start, a 10-2 loss on June 16th. In each loss to Oakland, the A’s tagged Iwakuma for four earned runs, his second highest total of the season.
Rallying. Down 5-2 in the seventh inning on Saturday, it didn’t look good for the Mariners. Raul Ibanez, though, continued to show that his age is no deterrence to his power stroke. In the bottom of the seventh, Ibanez launched a three-run home run to tie the game at 5. Seattle completed the rally in the eighth inning when Nick Franklin hit a two-run single to secure a 7-5 victory. Ibanez also accounted for the first three Mariner runs on Sunday with two more home runs. Raul leads the team with 17 home runs. Kyle Seager led the Mariners in home runs last year with 20, a number Ibanez may reach by the halfway point of the season. After Oakland sent into extra innings by tying the game at 3, Kendrys Morales delivered the walk-off three run home run pinch hitting for Brendan Ryan to give Seattle a 6-3 win. Seattle moved to 8-5 vs. the A’s this season with this series victory.
The N.L. visits Safeco. Seattle continues their home stand by welcoming in the Pittsburgh Pirates. This two-game set starting tomorrow will feature Joe Saunders and Felix Hernandez on the mound for the Mariners. Saunders has only faced one N.L. opponent this year with a no-decision against San Diego. Hernandez has gone 2-0 against the N.L., including a win over Pittsburgh on May 8th. The Pirates come in at 46-30, the second best record in all of baseball. On the end of a nine-game road trip, the Pirates are coming off a three-game sweep of the Angels. These two teams met in Pittsburgh in early May and split their two-game series.