Seattle Mariners

Mariners homestand preview: Oakland, Minnesota visit during short stay in Seattle

Minnesota Twins’ Jorge Polanco, right, starts to run after hitting a two-run single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, April 22, 2019, in Houston.
Minnesota Twins’ Jorge Polanco, right, starts to run after hitting a two-run single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, April 22, 2019, in Houston. AP

The Seattle Mariners (20-23) have lost 12 of their past 14 games, including losing 8 of 10 on their recent East Coast swing. Series losses against Cleveland and New York, and being swept in Boston have the Mariners under .500 for the first time this season.

Seattle heads back home for a six-game stretch, and will host American League West rival Oakland for two games, before meeting AL Central leader Minnesota for four.

All of the games will be broadcast on television on Root Sports Northwest and radio on 710 ESPN.

MARINERS HOMESTAND PREVIEW

Monday — Opponent: Oakland, 7:10 p.m. Pitching probables: Mike Fiers (3-3, 5.48 ERA) vs. Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.54).

Tuesday — Oakland, 7:10 p.m. Brett Anderson (4-2, 4.19) vs. Mike Leake (2-4, 4.37).

Wednesday — Off day.

Thursday — Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. Michael Pineda (2-3, 5.85) vs. Erik Swanson (1-4, 6.35).

Friday — Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. Martin Perez (5-1, 3.11) vs. TBD.

Saturday — Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. Jose Berrios (6-1, 2.53) vs. Marco Gonzales (5-2, 3.18).

Sunday — Minnesota, 1:10 p.m. Kyle Gibson (3-1, 4.19) vs. Kikuchi.

About the A’s (19-23): These two clubs haven’t met since their opening two-game series in Japan — the Mariners swept — and have taken varying paths to end up with a similar records ahead of this two-game set in Seattle. The Mariners rocketed to the best start in club history before falling back to .500 and below almost as quickly. Meanwhile, the A’s, who beat out the Mariners and Rays late for last season’s second Wild Card, have been streaky early in 2019, winning and losing in bunches. ... Seattle tagged Fiers with five runs in three innings the first time around, but Fiers threw baseball’s first no-hitter of the 2019 season — and second of his career — Tuesday against Cincinnati. ... Oakland DH Khris Davis (hip) was back in the lineup Sunday. He leads the A’s with 26 RBIs. ... First baseman Matt Olson (hamate bone fracture) is back from the 10-day IL. ... Third baseman Matt Chapman is still the team leader in several offensive categories, despite cooling off a bit recently, and is slashing at .280/.371/.560 with a .931 OPS. He has 10 doubles and 10 homers.

About the Twins (25-14): The Mariners are a few weeks removed from having the best record in baseball. Midway through May, the Twins carry that title as the surprise early leader of the AL Central. Minnesota hasn’t lost a series since late April, and has an 8-4 record so far in May. ... Jorge Polanco is hitting like one of the elite shortstops in the AL, with a .336/.405/.629 slash line, and team-leading 47 hits — including 12 doubles, four triples and seven homers. He is a top-five batter in the AL in hits, doubles, triples, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS (1.034). ... Former Mariner Nelson Cruz is off to a solid start, slashing at .276/.362/.520 with nine doubles, seven homers and 22 RBIs, and will make his first appearance at T-Mobile Park in a Twins uniform. ... Seattle’s starting rotation will shake up during the Minnesota series with Felix Hernandez (right shoulder strain), who was projected to pitch Friday, on the 10-day IL.

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.


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