GAME: Athletics (18-17, 2nd, AL West, -3.5 GB) at Mariners (16-19, 3rd, AL West, -5.5 GB). GAME #: 36. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING: 5th (series tied 2-2). WHEN: Friday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Athletics L 3. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Between May 1-24, the Mariners will appear at Safeco Field just three times. The first is Friday night against AL West nemesis Oakland, which provides Seattle with an excellent chance to slice into the Athletics' 1.5-game edge in the division standings. The Mariners not only have Hisashi Iwakuma and "Safeco Joe" Saunders going in the series, they will face an Oakland club at its most vulnerable, with three Athletics starters who have struggled, to put it kindly.