After an eight-day trip to Japan to open the major league season, the Mariners finished spring training with five games in Arizona before resuming the regular season Friday in Oakland.
GAME: Mariners (1-1, T3rd AL West, 0.0 GA/GB) at Athletics (1-1, T3rd AL West, 0.0 GA/GB). GAME #: 3. SERIES: 3rd of 4 games. MEETING (2012): 3rd (series tied 1-1). WHEN: Friday, 7:05 p.m. Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. PROBABLE PITCHERS: LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle, 0-0, 1.42) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (Oakland, 0-0, 1.29 ERA). STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Athletics W 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.
More than a week after returning to spring training following their opening series in Japan, the Mariners and Athletics resume the series and the regular season Friday with two in Oakland.
Vargas was pleased with the effectiveness of his fastball against the Athletics.
“I was commanding my fastball,” Vargas said. “When I do that, it makes my secondary stuff better. It was nice to throw my change-up pretty consistent in that game. My cutter was working and I was getting some strikes with that.”
Player to watch for Oakland: Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, signed for $36 million over four years, had a home run and a double in the Japan series.
After a rare day off Sunday, the Mariners play four game series in Arlington, TX., against the two-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers before returning to Seattle for the home season opener April 13, also against Oakland.
TODAY’S PROBABLE PITCHERS
MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (0-0, 1.42 ERA, 0.63 WHIP)
The 29-year-old Vargas, in his seventh major league season and fifth with the Mariners, will be making his second start.
A native of Apple Valley, CA., the 6-0, 215-pound Vargas was selected in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins.
He made his debut with Florida July 14, 2005, pitching one inning of relief in a 13-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Mariners acquired Vargas as part of a three-team swap Dec. 11, 2008, when the New York Mets sent him along with Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto and Aaron Heilman to the Mariners. The Mariners sent Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed to the Mets.
The Mariners also sent Luis Valbuena to the Indians. The Mets sent Joe Smith to the Indians, who sent Franklin Gutierrez to the Mariners.
Vargas brings a career record of 28-39, 4.53 ERA into the game, including a 22-31, 4.19 ERA with the Mariners.
2012: Vargas pitched well enough to win in Japan, but after he departed the game, the bullpen imploded, surrendering three home runs, greasing Seattle’s 4-1 defeat.
ATHLETICS: RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP)
The 28-year-old McCarthy, in his sixth major league season and second with the Athletics, will be making his second start, second against the Mariners.
A native of Glendale, CA., the 6-7, 200-pound McCarthy was selected in the 17th round of the 2002 amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox.
He made his debut with the White Sox May 22, 22, 2005 against the Chicago Cubs, receiving a no-decision in a 4-3 loss at Wrigley Field. McCarthy allowed four hits and two earned runs in 5.1 innings.
On Dec. 23, 2006, the White Sox traded McCarthy with David Paisano (minors) to the Texas Rangers for Jacob Rasner (minors), John Danks and Nick Masset. The Rangers granted McCarthy free agency Nov. 5, 2010. He signed s a free agent with Oakland Dec. 14, 2010.
McCarthy has a career record of 29-33, 4.17, including a 9-9, 3.32 mark with the Athletics.
2012: McCarthy opposed Felix Hernandez on Opening Day March 28 in Tokyo, acquitting himself favorably by holding the Mariners to one earned run through four innings. He was lifted for a pinch hitter. The Mariners won 3-1 in 11 innings.
Athletics 4, Mariners 1
AT TOKYO (March 29): Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes hit his first major league home run to power the Athletics to a 4-1 victory that earned Oakland a split in the two-game season-opening series. Cespedes connected for a two-run homer off Seattle reliever Shawn Kelley (0-1) for a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Josh Reddick followed with a solo shot off George Sherrill. Oakland starter Bartolo Colon picked up the win after striking out six and holding the Mariners to one run on three hits over eight innings. Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN
|Rec.||Home||Road||Day||Night||vs. RHP||vs. LHP||Hit HR||No HR|
MARINERS BATTING PROFILE
MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE
|4/7||Sat||at Oak||Hernandez (0-0, 1.13) vs. Colon (1-0, 1.13)|
|4/9||Mon||at Tex||Noesi (0-0, 0.00) vs. Darvish (0-0, 0.00)|
|4/10||Tue||at Tex||Beavan (0-0) vs. Feliz (0-0, 0.00)|
|4/10||Tue||at Tex||Millwood (0-0) vs. Lewis (0-0, 0.00)|
|4/10||Tue||at Tex||Vargas (0-0, 1.42) vs. Holland (0-0, 0.00)|
MARINERS 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|Gm.#||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|1||3/28||at Oak||W, 3-1||1-0||W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)|
|2||3/29||at Oak||L, 4-1||1-1||W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)|
|Gm. #||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|