The A’s will be sending Tommy Milone to the mound this afternoon. For them to win this game and this series, the key will be to get Milone some run support. Milone has dropped his last four starts after beginning the season 3-0, despite his ERA lowering from 3.86 to 3.13 during that stretch. He was the tough-luck loser in his last start giving up one unearned run in seven innings in a 1-0 defeat against the Cleveland Indians.
Look for the run support to come from A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie, if it comes at all. Lowrie is 4-for-8 with two double and three RBI in the first two games of the series and is leading the team with a .312 batting average on the season.
The A’s lead the league in runs scored this season, but they have hit a bit of a slide the past couple of games in Seattle. In game 1, Hisashi Iwakuma stifled the A’s for two runs over seven innings. In game 2, five different pitchers combined to surrender four runs in the loss.
Today, they will send Joe Saunders to the mound; who has been the tale of two pitchers all season long. Saunders is 0-4 with a 12.54 ERA on the road and 2-0 with a 0.81 ERA at home so far this year. He will take the hill this afternoon in Seattle and will be the key for the Mariners to secure a series win against Oakland.
Saunders has made his most career starts against the A’s (21) and had gone 13-6 with a 3.57 ERA in those starts. Saunders will look to continue his dominance against the A’s and hopefully get a little help from Kendrys Morales (3-for-8 in the series) and lead his team to victory.