|6:10 PM PT7:10 PM MT8:10 PM CT9:10 PM ET21:10 ET1:10 GMT9:10 6:10 PM MST8:10 PM EST8:40 PM VEN5:10 UAE (+1)8:10 PM CT, September 28, 2019
T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 26,470
A's face Mariners with goal of getting playoff-ready
The Oakland Athletics' offense should be at full strength for the postseason.
Outfielder Mark Canha and designated hitter Khris Davis both returned from injuries Friday night in Oakland's 4-3 loss to the host Seattle Mariners. The teams continue their regular-season-ending, four-game series Saturday.
Canha strained his left groin in Oakland's Wednesday victory against the Los Angeles Angels, and Davis was sidelined for two games by the stomach flu.
"It's nice to have them back, and they wanted to play, obviously," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "This is kind of the day maybe we give (outfielder Ramon) Laureano off with his workload, but he didn't want anything to do with that. This time of year, late in the season with a lot on the line, these guys want to play and will do anything they can to get in the lineup."
The Friday result -- the Mariners rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth off Athletics closer Liam Hendriks -- dropped Oakland (96-64) into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays in the race for home-field advantage for the American League's wild-card playoff game. The A's clinched a postseason berth before they took the field Friday night as the Cleveland Indians were eliminated with an 8-2 loss at Washington.
That meant despite the defeat, the A's popped the champagne in the visiting clubhouse following the Friday game to celebrate their second consecutive playoff berth.
"It feels amazing. It feels like this is becoming a habit. It's a good thing," Canha said.
In addition to Canha and Davis, outfielder Stephen Piscotty returned from the injured list Thursday after missing 29 games with a sprained right ankle.
Melvin said he hoped to get Piscotty some at-bats this weekend.
"A lot of hard work, determination and pain tolerance went into getting back in this position," Melvin said of Piscotty. "It's nice to have a guy that has been instrumental with this team over the course of the season. As he's shown in his career with us, he gets big hits. That would suggest he does well in the postseason and does have a good track record."
A's right-hander Mike Fiers (15-4, 3.91 ERA), who could start the wild-card game, went five innings Friday and allowed two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Oakland left-hander Brett Anderson (12-9, 4.00 ERA) is scheduled to make his 31st start of the season Saturday, tying a career high. Anderson will be making his first start since Sept. 17, when he limited Kansas City to one run in five innings in a victory.
Anderson has had his innings limited in September to limit the stress on his arm. He is 10-5 with a 2.36 ERA in 22 career appearances (21 starts) against the Mariners, including 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts this season.
The Mariners will counter with left-hander Marco Gonzales (16-12, 4.09 ERA), who has already posted career highs in wins, starts (33) and innings pitched (196). Gonzales is 3-1 with a 4.00 ERA in four starts against Oakland this season and 4-2 with a 3.88 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) vs. the A's in his career.
With the Friday result, the Mariners snapped a four-game losing streak in which they had scored just two runs.
"Our guys have a lot to play for, too, trying to prove themselves," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "It's nice for those guys to get the results like that."
--Field Level Media
Updated September 28, 2019