After skipping a trip to Seattle for a three-game series two weeks ago because of a positive COVID-19 case, the Oakland Athletics will try again to head for T-Mobile Park on Monday for a make-up doubleheader.
At least, if the games don’t get smoked out.
Wildfires in the Pacific Northwest have created unhealthy air quality, creating doubt about the teams’ ability to play. The Mariners are schedule to open a two-game series with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday after what was supposed to be an off-day Monday, so there’s little wiggle room.
“Sounds like the weather may get a little bit better,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We just have to wait and see what (Monday) brings at the ballpark.”
The rebuilding Mariners (21-25) are still in the postseason hunt, thanks to the expanded postseason in this pandemic-shortened season. They’re just 1 1/2 games behind Houston for second place in the American League West.
Servais and general manager Jerry Dipoto thought they had everything planned for Monday’s doubleheader. But that was before starter Justin Dunn lasted just two innings in Sunday’s 7-3 victory at Arizona.
“We were trying to give our team every opportunity to win that ballgame,” Servais said. “Certainly the day heading into a doubleheader, we would like to get a little bit more length out of our starter, but it didn’t happen. We’ve got to adjust on the fly. And that’s what we’ll do.”
The Mariners have moved up ace left-hander Marco Gonzales (5-2, 3.02 ERA) to start the opener Monday. They’ll have to rely on the bullpen, which was forced to pitch seven innings Sunday, for the nightcap.
“After (Game 1), we’ll have to piece it together,” Servais said. “It’ll depend on the first game. We’ll see how the first game goes and take it from there.”
Gonzales is 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA in nine career appearances against the A’s, including eight starts. This will be his first time facing them this season.
The AL West-leading Athletics (29-17) are scheduled to start left-hander Jesus Luzardo (2-2, 3.97 ERA) and Mike Minor (0-5, 6.35), a 2019 All-Star who was acquired from Texas at the trade deadline.
Luzardo is coming off his longest start in the majors, having allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings Wednesday in a 3-2 victory against Houston. He matched his season high with seven strikeouts.
Luzardo made two relief appearances against the Mariners last season, throwing a total of four scoreless innings.
Minor is 4-5 with a 4.55 ERA in 14 career appearances against Seattle, including 11 starts. He’s 0-1 in two starts he made against the Mariners this season while with Texas.
The A’s will be without third baseman Matt Chapman, who is scheduled to undergo surgery Monday in Vail, Colo., for a strained right hip. Chapman is expected to miss the rest of the season.
“Plays about as hard as anybody in the game. Unfortunately, he won’t be with us,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “This one stings some, but we have to rally around it, and play with his spirit. We know he’s pulling hard for us. You just have to get through it.”
–Field Level Media