Athletics-Mariners Preview

The Oakland Athletics broke out of their offensive slump with

their highest-scoring game of the season their last time out,

providing some rare support for their hard-working rotation.

Brett Anderson takes the mound Sunday as the Athletics close

their four-game series against the Seattle Mariners, who have also

struggled to provide much offense for their next starter.

A series between two of the major leagues’ weakest offenses

didn’t provide many highlights for either team over the first two

games, especially for Oakland (10-11), which was shut out in both

contests.

The Athletics snapped a three-game losing streak, recording 12

hits in a 9-1 victory Saturday. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Cliff

Pennington homered while Coco Crisp had three hits and ended a

20-inning scoreless streak with an RBI double in the third.

“This is a good offense and we’re going to score runs. It’s just

a week where we had everybody not swinging it well at the same

time,” Pennington said.

The support was enough for Trevor Cahill, who lasted six

innings, to pick up the fourth win for the rotation in the last

nine games. During that stretch, the starters have a 1.55 ERA,

giving up 10 earned runs in 58 innings.

Anderson (1-1, 1.63 ERA) is one of the members of the rotation

that doesn’t have the results despite strong pitching. In his first

three starts, the Athletics scored a combined three runs.

However, the left-hander gave up only four hits in eight innings

of a 5-0 win over Boston on Tuesday. Oakland was held to one run

through the first seven innings.

“It’d be nice to take the pressure off a little earlier, but any

runs we can get, the more the merrier,” Anderson told the

Athletics’ official website.

Anderson will try to continue his domination of the Mariners.

Although he didn’t pick up the win, he pitched six effective

innings against Seattle on April 2, allowing one run and five hits

in a 5-2 loss.

Anderson, who didn’t get a decision, is 3-1 with a 0.91 ERA in

his last six starts against the Mariners (8-14).

Doug Fister (1-3, 3.60), who gets the call for Seattle, is also

coming off his first victory of the year after yielding two runs in

6 1-3 innings of a 13-3 win over Detroit on Tuesday. He also struck

out a career-high seven.

Like Anderson, Fister hadn’t received much support before his

last outing. The Mariners scored two runs in his first three

starts.

“He’s thrown the ball well all year,” Seattle manager Eric

Wedge said. “It was good we could jump out early and he did a great

job of keeping the same mindset you have to have when you go out

there and you are a starting pitcher in that type of game.”

Fister may not be able to count on that kind of offense Sunday.

Wedge’s club has scored just eight runs since Fister’s last

start.

Fister allowed three runs – two earned – in 5 2-3 innings of a

7-1 loss to Oakland on April 3. The right-hander has lost his last

two starts against the A’s, and is 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA in eight

career starts against them.