If the Mariners walk away with a win in the rubber match of their three-game series with Oakland on Wednesday, it's likely they'll do it via the long ball. Seattle ranks fourth in the Majors with 148 home runs, and their opponent has a penchant for giving them up.
A.J. Griffin will take the mound for Oakland in the series finale. The 25-year-old righty is tied for most home runs allowed in the Major Leagues with 28. Griffin will be one of seven potential starters for the team as it enters the home stretch.
Brett Anderson and Bartolo Colon are each expected to return from injuries soon, giving the team arguably the best rotation depth in the American League. The club sits a 1 1/2 games behind Texas in the AL West, with six games left against the Rangers.
"We feel comfortable with the guys we have now, and we feel good about the two other guys that are potentially coming back," said manager Bob Melvin. "We've always felt good about our depth."
Interim Seattle manager Robby Thompson says his young club -- which sits 14 1/2 games out of first in the division -- can follow Oakland's example of how a team outside of the largest markets can find success.
"They got guys that they run out there that on paper if you take the Rangers or Red Sox or the Yankees or what have you, they're not as good as them," Thompson said. "But these guys approach the game the right way. They play the game hard, they don't make a whole lot of mistakes, their bullpen is outstanding and they got some good young pitchers who take the mound each and every day. ... And when you put it all together and look at what they're running out there and how they play the game, they're getting the best out of them.
Mariners: Rookies getting it done in the bullpen
Danny Farquhar struck out two batters in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 7-4 win over the Athletics, giving the young flame-thrower his eighth save in nine career-attempts. The 26-year-old has excelled in his role as Mariners closer, taking over after Tom Wilhelmsen was unable to overcome command issues.
Farquhar is one of four right-handed rookie relievers in the team's bullpen.
"That's not really how we thought we'd be looking at it right now, but those are the things that happen," Thompson said.
A's: Lowrie adapting to new role well
Jed Lowrie is quickly getting accustomed to the designated-hitter slot in the Oakland lineup. After going nearly three months without DHing, Lowrie has done so in three of his past six games.
"Based on his workload this year, it's probably a prudent thing to do," said Melvin, "and we're able to do that now with [Alberto] Callaspo here."
• Seattle has been one of Oakland's most difficult opponents, winning nine of 17 games against the A's this year.
• Farquhar has earned the save in each of Seattle's last eight wins.