After all but ending Texas’ wild-card hopes over the weekend, the Oakland Athletics look to extend their winning streak to eight when they host the Seattle Mariners on Monday for the opener of their three-game series. Oakland completed its second straight three-game sweep with Sunday’s 8-1 triumph, which pushed the Rangers 5 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second American League wild card with seven contests remaining.
Rookie Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis each recorded two RBIs for the Athletics, who have allowed a total of four runs over their last four contests - including two in the series versus Texas. Davis belted his 41st homer to pull within one of matching the career high he set last season. Oakland lost out on the opportunity to spoil Seattle’s playoff chances as the Mariners were eliminated from contention with Sunday’s 4-2 setback against Cleveland - their eighth loss in nine contests. Robinson Cano went 0-for-4 in the defeat, ending his hitting streak at eight games.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, ROOT Northwest (Seattle), NBCSN California (Oakland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Felix Hernandez (5-5, 4.57 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Daniel Gossett (4-9, 5.38)
Hernandez finally will be starting versus a team other than Texas, which he faced in each of his last three turns - including one prior to a 1 1/2-month absence due to bursitis in his shoulder. The 31-year-old Venezuelan came away with a pair of no-decisions in Texas before losing at home on Wednesday, when he yielded six runs on two hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings. Hernandez registered his 24th win in 33 career decisions against Oakland on July 9 - his most victories versus any team - after allowing two hits over six scoreless frames.
Gossett escaped with a no-decision at Detroit on Tuesday after surrendering six runs on nine hits and three walks across 4 2/3 innings. The 24-year-old rookie from South Carolina allowed three runs or fewer in each of his previous four outings but went 1-3 in that span. Gossett will be facing the Mariners at home for the first time after losing a pair of starts in Seattle earlier this year in which he failed to get out of the fifth inning.
1. The Athletics are enjoying their longest winning streak since a nine-game run in April of 2013.
2. Seattle 1B Yonder Alonso has recorded just three homers and 14 RBIs in 37 contests since being acquired from Oakland, for which he registered 22 and 49 in 100 games.
3. Oakland could be without rookie 1B Matt Olson, who exited Sunday’s win with tightness in his hamstring.
PREDICTION: Mariners 6, Athletics 4