A's eye series win over Mariners
(Sports Network) - After snapping a three-game losing streak in the series opener, the Seattle Mariners will try to claim a weekend set with the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on Saturday night.
Toeing the rubber for Oakland will be Jesse Chavez, who has revived his career in a big way this season with a 7-5 record and a 3.06 ERA.
The 30-year-old journeyman was outstanding his last time out, pitching six scoreless innings in a win over San Francisco on July 7 with a career high- tying nine strikeouts.
"We all like to feed off each other," Chavez said of his first-place squad. "We're just playing good baseball."
Chavez has not nearly been as effective on the road this season (3.86 ERA) has he has at home (2.13).
For Seattle, Hisashi Iwakuma will try to improve upon his 7-4 record and 3.07 ERA.
Iwakuma was at the top of his game in a July 7 win over Minnesota, striking out 10 in seven shutout innings, allowing four hits while walking none.
"I'm feeling really good right now," said Iwakuma, who's dealt with various injuries this season. "My arm feels better, too."
The Japan native certainly enjoys pitching in his home ballpark, compiling a 2.76 ERA in 244 2/3 career innings at Safeco Field.
Seattle fell behind 2-0 before it even had a chance to bat on Friday night, but it battled back for 3-2 victory.
Robinson Cano delivered the game-winning RBI in the sixth inning, breaking open a tie game with a double that plated James Jones.
Cano finished 2-for-3, while Logan Morrison belted his fifth homer of the season.
Felix Hernandez (11-2) was outstanding as usual with nine strikeouts over eight innings of work while allowing just six hits and two earned runs. The AL All Star sits with a 2.12 ERA and 154 strikeouts.
Jeff Samardzija's (1-1) second start was a solid one, tossing an eight-inning complete game, and despite allowing the three earned runs, he yielded just five hits and zero walks.
The Athletics' two-run first inning came thanks to a solo home run by Stephen Vogt, his fourth, and an RBI single by Jed Lowrie.
Seattle has won four of its past five versus Oakland.
07/12 10:52:45 ET