|12:10 PM PT1:10 PM MT2:10 PM CT3:10 PM ET15:10 ET19:10 GMT3:10 12:10 PM MST2:10 PM EST2:40 PM VEN23:10 UAE2:10 PM CT, September 29, 2019
T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 16,819
A's look to get home for wild-card game on a roll
Bob Melvin isn't really concerned about Sunday's regular-season finale in Seattle.
He just wants to go home.
And that's exactly where the Oakland Athletics will soon be headed, to play host to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday in the American League's wild-card playoff game.
The A's (97-64) clinched the AL's No. 1 wild-card seed with a 1-0 victory against the Mariners on Saturday night, as Brett Anderson pitched five scoreless innings and Ramon Laureano hit a solo homer to account for the game's lone run.
"There's going to be 50,000 people in Oakland, I got a feeling," said Melvin, the A's manager. "When we get that bigger crowd at home, they have an effect. So, we're excited about going home in front of our fans. There's a great bond between us and the fans there, and they can get pretty loud."
Laureano's homer, his 24th of the season, came on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the third inning off Mariners ace Marco Gonzales. Laureano sent it into the second deck in left field, estimated by Statcast at 392 feet.
"It's nice to be able to play him a couple of days in a row," Melvin said of Laureano, who has been battling a shin injury. "He showed up huge today with that home run. We'll give some guys a needed rest (Sunday). We got some banged-up guys. But we wanted to put this one away (Saturday)."
Melvin refused to disclose who he'll start in the wild-card game, with the choice likely down to right-hander Mike Fiers (15-4, 3.90 ERA) or lefty Sean Manaea (4-0, 1.21). Fiers is 9-1 with a 2.54 ERA at home, while Manaea has come back strong in five starts since returning from shoulder surgery late last season.
The A's are scheduled to start right-hander Tanner Roark (10-9, 4.32 ERA) on Sunday against Mariners right-hander Justin Dunn (0-0, 3.86). Roark is 1-1 against the Mariners in his career, with a 3.38 ERA in two appearances, both starts. Dunning is making only his fourth career appearance and has not faced the A's.
The Mariners (67-94) have lost five of their past six games, scoring just six runs and being blanked three times in that span.
"Marco was outstanding again," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Really, a great way to cap off his season. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get him a 'W.' It was a well-played game and it comes down to one swing and theirs went over the fence."
As usual, a second-half surge has carried the A's. They were 19-25 on May 16 after being swept in a two-game series at Seattle, 2 1/2 games behind the Mariners. Since that date, Oakland has a record of 78-39, best in the majors, while Seattle is 45-71.
Despite his team's struggles, Gonzales said he likes what he's seen from some of the younger players late this season.
"I'm really optimistic," Gonzales told MLB.com. "I think the best thing about the young guys coming in is they're absorbent to everything and love to learn. They're humble and work hard. You give me those qualities, and I'll go to war with anybody."
--Field Level Media
Updated September 29, 2019