The Oakland Athletics‘ playoff fate is going right down to the wire, which is appropriate considering the team has a major league-best 14 walk-off wins this year. The latest came in a 7-4 comeback win Saturday, reducing Oakland’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot to three and getting it within 2 1/2 games of Texas in the American League West. The Athletics will try to reduce both of those numbers and finish a three-game sweep of the visitingSeattle Mariners on Sunday.
Oakland has won rookie left-hander Tommy Milone’s last four starts and seven of his last eight, and it hopes he can continue that success in his final start of the regular season. Milone has been dominant in his past three starts against the Mariners, allowing three runs in 20 innings with 24 strikeouts. He matched a career high with 10 strikeouts against Seattle on Sept. 9. Mariners rookie Erasmo Ramirez will make his second start against the Athletics. He threw eight innings of one-run ball with a career-high 10 strikeouts on June 25 and tossed a scoreless inning of relief against Oakland on Sept. 7.
Mariners Athletics Betting
When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, September 30, 2012
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports, CSN California
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Erasmo Ramirez (1-3, 3.42 ERA) vs. Athletics LH Tommy Milone (13-10, 3.74)
Ramirez is in his third stint with the big-league club this season, and he has proven to be a solid starter during September. He has posted three straight quality starts, though he took the loss last time out against the Los Angeles Angels. He allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings.
Milone has won two straight decisions and four of his last five, but he hasn’t factored in the decision in his last two outings. Milone is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts against the Mariners, all this season.
1. Oakland OF Coco Crisp is 7-for-10 with an RBI and five runs scored in two contests since returning from an eye infection that caused him to miss nine games.
2. Seattle has hit at least one home run in 18 consecutive games, one shy of the club record set in 1999.
3. Mariners OF Michael Saunders needs one home run in the last four games to become the first player with 20 homers and 20 stolen bases since Mike Cameron in 2002.