Oakland Athletics (95-66) at Seattle Mariners (71-90)
Sunday, September 29 - 4:10 PM EST
Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
The Oakland Athletics are heading to the playoffs for the second straight year while the host Seattle Mariners are on the outside of the postseason fun for the 12th consecutive campaign. The two teams wrap up the regular season on Sunday and the only final-day suspense hinges on whether Mariners veteran Raul Ibanez can become the first 41-year-old to hit 30 homers in a season. He is currently tied at 29 with Hall of Famer Ted Williams (1960).
Seattle has lost 90 games for the fourth time in six seasons and manager Eric Wedge disclosed prior to Saturday’s victory that he elected against returning in the role due to his disagreement over the direction of the franchise. “Let me be clear here – the contract is not the reason I’m not coming back here,” Wedge said. “If they’d offered me a five-year contract, I wouldn’t have come back here.” Oakland has clinched the second-best record in the American League and will have home-field advantage in the divisional round against the Detroit Tigers.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, CSN California (Oakland), ROOT (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Sonny Gray (4-3, 2.90 ERA) vs. Mariners RH Erasmo Ramirez (5-2, 4.56)
Gray dominated Seattle hitters on Aug. 20 when he allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings in a no-decision. He was won back-to-back decisions, including a victory over Minnesota in his last turn when he gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings. Gray is limiting opposing batters to a .218 average.
Ramirez is winless in four starts since beating the Houston Astros on Aug. 29. He received a no-decision in his last turn despite allowing just two unearned runs and six hits in six-plus innings against the Los Angeles Angels. Ramirez left that Sept. 20 outing with a groin injury, but has recovered and is well-rested for the season finale.
1. Seattle SS Brad Miller homered twice on Saturday to become the first rookie in franchise history to have three multi-homer games.
2. Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes (shoulder) sat out Saturday and is expected to miss the finale.
3. The Mariners have hit 188 homers, their most since slamming 198 in 2000.
PREDICTION: Athletics 7, Mariners 4