Mariners-Athletics Preview

Seattle’s Michael Pineda wasn’t selected to the All-Star team

despite being one of the league’s top young pitchers.

He does have the support of one of his chosen teammates,

however, who hopes the impressive rookie might be able to take his

spot.

Pineda will try to make his case when he takes the mound for the

Mariners on Monday as they open a three-game road series against

the Oakland Athletics.

Seattle (41-43) continues to get excellent starting pitching and

after a particularly strong weekend series, it will try to take

that momentum into a seven-game road trip before the All-Star

break.

The Mariners won two of three against San Diego over the

weekend, giving up just two runs. They won the finale 3-1 Sunday

behind seven strong innings from Blake Beavan in his major league

debut.

Seattle starters have an AL-leading 3.11 ERA this season and a

1.91 ERA in the last 16 games.

Pineda (7-5, 2.65 ERA) ranks sixth in the AL in ERA and is

holding opponents to a .198 batting average.

Despite his credentials, Pineda wasn’t selected to the All-Star

roster while teammates Felix Hernandez and closer Brandon League

were picked. Hernandez, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday and

therefore would be unavailable for the Midsummer Classic, put in

his recommendation for Pineda.

“I’m a little surprised,” Hernandez told the Mariners’ official

website. “He’s got pretty good numbers. … Maybe he can go there

and pitch for me if I can’t pitch.”

Pineda, however, hasn’t been at his best lately. He allowed five

runs and a season high-tying five walks over 6 1-3 innings Tuesday

in a 5-4 loss to Atlanta. That was his third loss in four starts

and left him with one win in his last seven.

The Mariners, though, haven’t provided him with much support,

scoring 11 runs over his past seven outings.

He did pitch very well against Oakland on April 22, allowing

five hits in six innings of a 4-0 win.

The Athletics (38-47) improved to 3-3 on their nine-game

homestand with a 7-2 victory over Arizona on Sunday. Scott Sizemore

had three hits, including a two-run homer in the sixth, and Conor

Jackson also had a two-run shot in the inning.

Sizemore went 7 for 12 in the series, raising his average 31

points to .286.

”He’s a good on-base guy and hits the ball the other way,”

manager Bob Melvin said. ”He’s gained a lot of confidence and has

become an everyday third baseman. He’s been a productive

player.”

Oakland enters this series in last place in the AL West, 3 1/2

games behind Seattle, which has won four of the seven meetings

overall this season and two of three on the road.

Brandon McCarthy (1-4, 3.39) is scheduled to make his first

start since May 18 for the A’s.

McCarthy, who has been on the disabled list due to a stress

reaction in his throwing shoulder, is winless in his last seven

starts. He gave up three runs in seven innings of a 4-3, 10-inning

loss to Minnesota in his most recent appearance.

The right-hander is 1-3 with a 5.45 ERA in eight games – six

starts – against the Mariners, but held them to one run and four

hits over eight innings of a 1-0 loss April 21 at Safeco Field.

Oakland and Seattle rank 13th and 14th in the AL in runs per

game with 3.5 and 3.4, respectively. Both have averaged 2.5 in

their last 11.