The Oakland Athletics had aspirations of escaping the basement in the American League West as they entered their three-game series against the visiting Seattle Mariners. Their chances aren’t looking very good, however, as the Athletics enter the middle contest of the set on Tuesday trailing Seattle by 3 1/2 games with six remaining.
Oakland carried a seven-game winning streak into the series opener on Monday but managed only four hits en route to a 7-1 loss. One day after being eliminated from wild-card contention, Seattle took out its frustrations on its division rival, using the long ball to score all its runs. Mitch Haniger registered his first career two-homer performance while Mike Zunino and former Athletic Yonder Alonso also went deep as the Mariners won for just the second time in 10 games. Alonso has recorded only four home runs and 15 RBIs in 38 contests since being acquired from Oakland, where he notched 22 and 49 in 100 games.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, ROOT Northwest (Seattle), NBCSN California (Oakland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners LH James Paxton (12-5, 3.03 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Daniel Mengden (2-1, 3.30)
Paxton will be making his third start since missing more than a month with a left pectoral muscle strain. The 28-year-old Canadian went 7-0 in his last eight turns before the injury but has lost both outings upon his return, yielding five runs on eight hits and four walks over a combined five innings. Paxton has yet to lose to Oakland, going 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five career starts.
Mengden looks to continue a magical stretch that has seen him throw 16 scoreless innings en route to a pair of victories. The 24-year-old Texan registered his first career shutout on Sept. 15 at Philadelphia, allowing two hits while recording a season-high seven strikeouts, and kept the Tigers off the scoreboard over seven frames five days later in Detroit. Mengden lost his only career start against Seattle on Sept. 9, 2016 despite giving up only two runs in five innings.
1. Athletics rookie 1B Matt Olson, who has recorded more home runs (24) than singles (23) in 59 games this year, likely will miss the final week of the season due to a left hamstring injury.
2. Seattle SS Jean Segura will miss the entire series with a sprained right middle finger.
3. Oakland LHP Sean Manaea (back), who was scratched from his previous turn, is expected to make his final start of the campaign Thursday at Texas.
PREDICTION: Athletics 6, Mariners 3