Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
- The A's go to Seattle this weekend assured of being in an ALDS, but where it will start and who it will be against have yet to be determined. Oakland could open ALDS against Boston, Detroit or the Wild Card winner (Tampa Bay, Cleveland or Texas).
- The Mariners will finish in fourth place in the AL West for the fourth consecutive season, but thanks to realignment prior to the 2013 season, Seattle will not finish in last place for a fourth consecutive season. Houston (51-108) will finish in last place in the AL West.
- Seattle holds a 10-6 advantage over Oakland in the season series and has now won the season series from Oakland in four of the last seven years.
- Three of the top four RBI men on the A's have set career highs. Josh Donaldson (92), Brandon Moss (81) and Jed Lowrie (75) have all set career highs for runs batted in and Yoenis Cespedes still has a chance (Cespedes has 80 RBI and had a career-high 82 in 2012).
- Coco Crisp (22 HR & 20 SB) reached the 20 stolen base mark this week becoming the first Oakland Athletic with a 20-20 season since Ruben Sierra in 1993 (22 HR & 25 SB). Crisp has now reached 20 stolen bases in eight of the last 10 seasons, but his 22 home runs are six more than his previous best of 16 with the 2005 Cleveland Indians.
- Forty-one year old Raul Ibanez leads the Mariners in home runs with 29 and is one away from his third 30-home run season and first since hitting a career-high 34 in 2009 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
- Rangers take Seahawks' Wilson in Rule 5
- Tigers, RHP Chamberlain agree to 1 year
- Investment, liability key collision ban
- Mariners, Cano finalize $240M deal
- Phillies, RHP Hernandez have 1-year deal
By JORDAN GARRETSON
(AP) -- With their postseason fate already determined, the Oakland Athletics appear to have shifted their focus to their upcoming divisional series.
The Seattle Mariners might have more to play for in Sunday's season finale at Safeco Field as they try to send manager Eric Wedge out on a winning note.
Oakland suffered a 7-5 loss Saturday, allowing Boston to clinch the top seed and home-field advantage in the AL playoffs. The Athletics (95-66) are assured the No. 2 seed, setting them up to host Detroit with Game 1 scheduled for Friday.
They fell to the Tigers in five games in last year's divisional series.
"It was a good matchup last year," manager Bob Melvin said. "We've had some spirited games with them this year, so it should be an exciting series."
While they can't improve their playoff position anymore, the A's would surely like to see a better performance Sunday from Sonny Gray after Jarrod Parker was tagged for seven runs and seven hits Saturday in 4 1-3 innings. He surrendered three homers - two to Brad Miller, including his first career grand slam - after the club had yielded an average of 0.9 home runs per nine innings while going 12-4 over its previous 16 contests.
Oakland also left 10 runners on base, going 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position, sorely feeling the absence of Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes, 11 for 28 (.393) with runners in scoring position this month with 13 RBIs, is day-to-day after leaving Friday's game due to shoulder stiffness. He's 2 for 7 off scheduled Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez with a triple.
Wedge announced prior to Friday's 8-2 loss that he would not be returning to manage the Mariners (71-90) for a fourth year, then elaborated on his decision Saturday.
"If they'd offered me a five-year contract, I'm not coming back here," he said, citing differences between him and Seattle's front office. "My vision of the future and theirs are just different."
Gray (4-3, 2.90 ERA) was the winner as Oakland clinched the AL West his last time out, allowing four runs in five innings of an 11-7 victory over Minnesota last Sunday.
He threw seven innings in a 7-4 loss to Seattle on Aug. 20, yielding two runs - both on a Nick Franklin homer - and one additional hit.
Ramirez (5-2, 4.56) left in the seventh inning of his last start due to groin tightness one at-bat after Kyle Seager's throwing error, which later led to him being charged with two unearned runs.
He's expected to be OK for Sunday.
"He's just a little tight and felt like it was pulling a little bit, but he was smart enough to let us know about it to where nothing more than that happened," Wedge told the team's official website.
Ramirez went 0-1 in three games versus Oakland last year - two starts - while recording a 1.76 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 15 1-3 innings.
Updated September 28, 2013