Mariners seek strong finish against first-place A's

Mariners seek strong finish against first-place A's

OAKLAND -- A win in Sunday's series finale against the A's would mark the first time the Mariners have swept a series this season.

Sweeps are always preferred, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said, but a final win against a division leader is especially pertinent if Seattle has intentions of competing for a playoff spot this year.

"It does matter, most definitely," Wedge said. "I was talking about that on the drive in today. We need to take this one. At some point in time these guys need to start finishing things off. It most definitely matters, especially when you're trying to gain ground."

Oakland, one of baseball's hottest teams heading into the series with Seattle, hasn't suffered a sweep at home since April.

The A's (41-29) entered Friday's series opener on an 11-game win streak at home and owners of the best 26-game stretch in the Majors this year at 21-5. A win Sunday would put the Mariners (31-38) 8 1/2 games back of the first-place A's in the American League West.

Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.