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Game Thread #7: Oakland A’s at Seattle Mariners

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First road game of the year!

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s first homestand of 2020 ended on a sour note, with two meek losses to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday and Wednesday. Now the A’s get a change of scenery, making their first road trip of the year to visit the Seattle Mariners up north.

The Mariners are perhaps the weakest opponent on Oakland’s 2020 schedule. They’re in the thick of a rebuilding process and lost 94 games last year, and they entered this summer looking more toward player development than true competition. Contenders must always beware of trap games, and overlooking seemingly weaker clubs, but on paper the A’s should be heavily favored all weekend.

The two sides will play four games, from Friday through Monday. For more info:

Oakland sends Sean Manaea to the mound in the opening game. The lefty was up and down in his debut start last weekend, looking great for a few innings and then suddenly running in to trouble. Seattle counters with Taijuan Walker, once one of their top prospects before being traded away, and now back in the search of a bounce-back from long-term injury.

First pitch is 6:40 p.m., with the TV broadcast on NBC Sports California. The A’s finally added a radio station this week, so you can tune in to KNEW 960 AM for the audio broadcast. Also new today, the online audio stream has moved and can now be found at iHeartRadio.

A’s lineup (away)

  1. SS Marcus Semien (R)
  2. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  3. 3B Matt Chapman (R)
  4. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  5. DH Mark Canha (R)
  6. LF Robbie Grossman (S)
  7. RF Stephen Piscotty (R)
  8. C Sean Murphy (R)
  9. 2B Tony Kemp (L)
  • Sean Manaea, LHP

This is pretty much the optimal lineup at this moment. The slumping Khris Davis is out, replaced at DH by the reliable Canha, who himself is off to a nice start. It’s Kemp’s turn at 2B.

Mariners lineup (home)

  1. SS J.P. Crawford (L)
  2. DH Tim Lopes (R)
  3. CF Kyle Lewis (R)
  4. 3B Kyle Seager (L)
  5. 1B Evan White (R)
  6. C Austin Nola (R)
  7. 2B Shed Long (L)
  8. RF Dylan Moore (R)
  9. LF Dee Gordon (L)
  • Taijuan Walker, RHP

I wonder if Gordon saw Charlie Blackmon beat out a bunt against Matt Chapman on Tuesday? Maybe that will motive him to try again himself five more times and make a bunch of outs!