Athletics, Lucas go for sweep of Mariners, King Felix

OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Athletics right-hander Josh Lucas will make his first big-league start against a legend Thursday afternoon when the Seattle Mariners send ace Felix Hernandez to the mound in the finale of the three-game series.

Despite being held to four runs in 19 innings, the Mariners have managed to win the first two games of the series, claiming a 1-0 victory Wednesday after going 10 innings for a 3-2 triumph the night before.

Seattle has beaten Oakland six times in eight meetings this season, after taking last year’s season series 12-7.

Guillermo Heredia was the offensive star of both wins, driving in the game-winner with a double Tuesday, then scoring the only run of Wednesday’s win after another double in the fourth inning.

Lucas, who has made two relief appearances for the A’s this season after coming out of the bullpen five times for the St. Louis Cardinals last year, will be filling in for Brett Anderson, who suffered a shoulder injury in a start against Toronto on Friday.

Lucas (0-0, 1.35) came on in relief that game, limiting the Blue Jays to one run in 3 2/3 innings.

The A’s went on to win the game 3-1, although Lucas did not get a decision.

He’s pitched a total of 6 2/3 innings in his two games for the A’s. He’s never faced the Mariners.

Lucas’ zero career wins are 165 fewer than Hernandez (5-3, 5.53), who ranks first among active pitchers in career wins against the A’s (26) and career wins by an opposing pitcher in Oakland (13).

Minnesota’s Ervin Santana ranks a distant second in both categories, with 13 victories against the A’s and seven wins in Oakland.

Hernandez is 26-10 with a 2.64 ERA against the A’s in 48 career starts.

The A’s added to his loss total when they beat Hernandez and the Mariners 2-1 in Seattle in April. He allowed a two-run home run by Jed Lowrie in the first inning, but just four other hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Both pitchers will be handcuffed by short-handed lineups.

The A’s finally decided to place Khris Davis on the disabled list Wednesday with a strained groin suffered Sunday in Toronto. The move was made retroactive to Monday.

Davis had been hoping a couple of days off would heal the issue, but got talked into taking a conservative approach Wednesday.

“I could probably come back before 10 days,” he insisted, “but I think they just don’t want me limping out there. They want me at full strength.”

The A’s filled his roster spot with top minor league prospect Franklin Barreto, who was immediately thrust into the starting lineup at second base Wednesday. He went 0-for-2.

The Mariners likewise made a promote-and-play move with outfielder John Andreoli, who started in right field in the 1-0 win. He recorded his first major league hit in his second at-bat against A’s starter Daniel Gossett, a single to right field in the fifth inning.

He finished 1-for-3 with a walk.

“It’s been unbelievable,” he said of getting the call and rushing to Oakland. “This is obviously a dream come true. It’s something I’ve been working for since I started playing the game. I was in shock and I even got a little teared up.”