Seattle Mariners Hope To Continue Success Against Oakland Athletics

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The Seattle Mariners opened 2013 by taking two out of three from the Oakland Athletics. They’ll try to parlay that success in their upcoming three-game set with the A’s.

Friday: Projected starters are Dan Straily and Hisashi Iwakuma. While Straily has a huge strikeout pedigree from his minor league success, he has been up-and-down in the major leagues. Sporting an ERA just under 6.00 in 2013, Straily will hope that Safeco Field will help him to lower that.

Iwakuma has a sub-2.00 ERA and has been one of baseball’s best surprises thus far. Emerging as an elite No. 2 starter behind ace Felix Hernandez, Seattle will hope that they’ll only need a couple runs to support him.

Saturday: Projected starters are Jarrod Parker and Brandon Maurer. This is a matchup of two underachieving young starters. Parker has regressed hugely after a strong 2012 campaign. Off to a 1-5 start with a 7.00-plus ERA, Parker will hope to get his season going in the right direction.

If he struggles again, the A’s will have to look at moving Parker to the bullpen, demoting him to Triple-A, or placing him on the disabled list. Maurer entered the Mariners rotation with less fanfare and hype than some of the Mariners other pitching prospects. He’ll try to get his ERA under 6.00 against the A’s team that leads all of baseball in runs scored.

Sunday: Projected starters are Tommy Milone and Joe Saunders. There had been speculation that Milone’s success was nearly entirely predicated on his home ballpark. His early-season success thus far has disproved that somewhat, but he’ll benefit from another spacious ballpark in this start.

Saunders has done a fair job holding down a spot in the Mariners rotation, as he will need to until a prospect like Danny Hultzen is ready to step in.

Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.

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