Hanging On

Dan Haren has had a successful season soured a bit by the way he's finishing up.

The Oakland Athletics ace looks to snap a four-start winless streak in the opener of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

Haren (14-7, 3.11 ERA), who's topped the 200-inning mark for the third straight year, went 10-3 with a 2.30 ERA this season before the All-Star break.

It's been a different story, however, in the second half, particularly since he matched his career-high with his 14th win on Aug. 21. Haren is 0-3 with a 6.56 ERA in his last four outings.

The right-hander is facing Seattle for the second straight start after Oakland lost 6-5 on Wednesday. Haren didn't get a decision despite giving up four runs and 12 hits - the third straight game he's allowed at least 11.

Haren is 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in four starts against the Mariners this year.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Oakland -162 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on Seattle +145 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Oakland (74-77) is trying to finish with a winning record for the ninth straight season. The A's missed a chance for a four-game sweep of Texas with an 11-9 loss on Sunday that was marred by a brawl.

Nick Swisher, who hit a home run in each of the first three games of the series, tackled Texas starter Vicente Padilla after getting hit in the first inning.

"How many times can one team hit you in a row?" A's manager Bob Geren said. "The guy hits three home runs - make better pitches. You don't hit him."

Swisher, who was ejected, was 5-for-10 in the series with four RBIs. He's hit safely in eight straight games against the Mariners, going 9-for-29 with three homers and 10 RBIs.

With a 9-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, Seattle completed a seven-game homestand with a 3-4 record. The Mariners, who have lost 17 of 22, trail the New York Yankees for the AL wild card by 6 1/2 games.

"It's an uphill battle for sure," Seattle manager John McLaren said. "We need a lot of help and we need to help ourselves. My main thought is to finish strong and see what happens."

The Mariners (78-70) have lost 10 of their last 12 road games, but are 5-1 at Oakland this year. Ichiro Suzuki is hitting .185 (5-for-27) at Network Associates Coliseum in 2007.

Seattle also is 11-5 against Oakland this year after going 2-17 in 2006.

Mariners starter Miguel Batista (13-11, 4.67) will oppose Haren and Oakland for the second straight start. He gave up three runs over six innings on Wednesday, also not factoring in the decision.

Batista is winless in his last five starts, going 0-3 with a 7.48 ERA. He's 1-2 with a 5.70 ERA in four starts against the A's this year.

The right-hander has pitched well in his career at Oakland, going 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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