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Preview: Athletics (66-40) at Mariners (55-52)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Safeco Field
Date: May 10, 2013 10:10 PM EDT
  

No one has been tougher to get on base against in the AL than Hisashi Iwakuma.

This could present problems for an Oakland Athletics team struggling at the plate.

The Seattle Mariners right-hander will try to send the Athletics a season-high fifth straight loss Friday night in the opener of a weekend series at Safeco Field.

Iwakuma (3-1, 1.61 ERA) has been among baseball's biggest surprises, leading the AL in opponent batting average (.168) and walks plus hits per inning pitched (0.76).

He uncharacteristically walked three Saturday but yielded one run over seven innings to gain an 8-1 victory at Toronto.

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Seattle (16-19) has won his last five starts at home, including three this year in which Iwakuma has posted a 0.48 ERA. His stellar season began April 2 when he allowed one run over six innings with seven strikeouts in a 7-1 victory at Oakland, winning for the first time in three starts against the Athletics.

Slugger Yoenis Cespedes is 3 for 6 with two solo homers against Iwakuma. He and the Athletics (18-18) travel west after totaling eight runs and batting .205 while being swept in four games in Cleveland, capped by Thursday's 9-2 loss.

"They're playing great and can't do anything wrong and we're struggling," manager Bob Melvin said. "That's what happens."

Cespedes homered in the first game of the series before going 1 for 11 with four strikeouts in the final three. Jed Lowrie was 2 for 15 in the series, Derek Norris 2 for 11, John Jaso 2 for 10 and Eric Sogard 2 for 9 for the A's, who have seven players on the disabled list.

Oakland is batting .218 and averaging 2.6 runs in May, and Seattle can relate somewhat to those woes. The Mariners are hitting a major league-worst .199 this month, although they are 4-2.

Seattle has been winning thanks to mound efforts like Wednesday's by Felix Hernandez, who went eight innings as the Mariners avoided a third straight loss with a 2-1 victory at Pittsburgh.

While Hernandez is the unquestioned ace of the staff, Iwakuma is developing a reputation of his own that has given Seattle confidence.

"They're unbelievable," second baseman Dustin Ackley told the Mariners' official website. "Any time you go out there, you're like, 'Let's just get a couple runs and these guys are going to cruise.' They are probably, arguably, right now the two best starters in baseball."

Oakland has won all three games started by Daniel Straily (1-0, 5.94), who takes the mound Friday after giving up three runs over 5 1-3 innings and not getting a decision in Sunday's 5-4 victory over the Yankees.

The right-hander yielded four runs over 4 1-3 innings in his lone start against Seattle on Sept. 29. He also yielded two homers in five 2012 at_bats to Kendrys Morales, then with the Angels.

These clubs split their season-opening four-game set in Oakland. Lowrie went 6 for 13 with four doubles while Michael Morse was 6 for 16 with four homers for the Mariners.

Oakland has taken the last four meetings in Seattle.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Athletics at Mariners
Fri, May 10 Final 3 to 6
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Athletics at Mariners
Sat, May 11 Final 4 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Athletics at Mariners
Sun, May 12 Final 1 to 6
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  +112   -200   7 
 SEA  -122   +170   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  +114   -190   7 
 SEA  -124   +165   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  42%   20%   58% 
 SEA  58%   80%   42% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Apr 4, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SEA 2 Over: 10 
 OAK 8 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 3, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SEA 2 Over: 8 
 OAK 6 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 2, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SEA 7 Cover: +125 
 OAK 1 Over: 8 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 1, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SEA 2 Cover: +106 
 OAK 0 Under: 2 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Mar 18, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SEA 6 Cover: +105 
 OAK 5 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 8, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 10 Cover: +120 
 SEA 1 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Friday, May 10
 
    Indians at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Cubs at Nationals
7:05 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Pirates at Mets
7:10 PM EDT
    Brewers at Reds
7:10 PM EDT
    Padres at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Angels at White Sox
8:10 PM EDT
    Yankees at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Orioles at Twins
8:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Astros
8:10 PM EDT
    Rockies at Cardinals
8:15 PM EDT
    Phillies at Diamondbacks
9:40 PM EDT
    Athletics at Mariners
10:10 PM EDT
    Marlins at Dodgers
10:10 PM EDT
    Braves at Giants
10:15 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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