Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma did his job in the Seattle Mariners’ 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics, going seven very-strong innings and only allowing two earned runs. This was Iwakuma’s fourth victory of the season and it was much needed for Eric Wedge’s Mariners.
Iwakuma was supported by a three-run home run by outfielder Raul Ibanez off of A’s starter Dan Straily, who had a rough outing, giving up six earned runs.
Ibanez has been very happy with the recent efforts of his teammates, telling Mariners.com, “It’s a collective effort, it always is. Guys are contributing, guys are having good at-bats.” Ibanez said.
“There’s definitely a good feeling in here, but we’re doing it as a group, as a team, and it’s a great environment.”
The team has won eight of their last 11 games and this recent surge has them back in contention in a very tough American League West division. Going into Saturday, the team is sitting on a 17-19 record and they are only half a game behind Oakland for second place in the division.
If the Mariners can pull of a sweep against Oakland, not only will they jump into second place in the division, but they will also have a .500 record for the first time since the opening week of the season.
For the Mariners to pull off this sweep they will need to get solid outings from Brandon Maurer and Joe Saunders, pitchers that have not been very consistent this year. Luckily the A’s are currently on a five-game losing streak and have no momentum going their way, so it is possible.