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Jun 6, 2024 2:36 am

Mariners’ Bryan Woo out to extend scoreless streak vs. A’s

Bryan Woo

Seattle Mariners right-hander Bryan Woo, an Oakland native, will put his spotless record against the host Athletics at risk when he chases a little piece of history in the teams’ Thursday afternoon rubber game.

Pitching has dominated the first two games of the series between the American League West rivals, with Seattle’s George Kirby outdueling Mitch Spence in a 4-3 win on Tuesday before Oakland’s Joey Estes bested Logan Gilbert 2-1 in the Wednesday rematch.

A’s manager Mark Kotsay has gotten so caught up in this series’ stellar pitching he went as far as to reference Oakland franchise great Tim Hudson when discussing Estes’ 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Wednesday.

“Sitting there and watching him, thinking about him being 22 (years old) and the future in front of him,” Kotsay said. “You don’t want to jump to a Tim Hudson-type guy, but that was really in my mind tonight. The way he was pitching — aggressive with the fastball, attacking hitters — Huddy was that style of pitcher.”

Hoping to draw similar comparisons in Mariners history in the series finale will be Woo (2-0, 1.30 ERA), who attended Alameda High School in the shadow of the Oakland Coliseum.

The right-hander has faced the A’s three times in his career and has yet to allow a run in 15 1/3 innings. Last year, he gave up three hits in six innings in a home start vs. the A’s and three hits in five innings at Oakland. Woo threw 4 1/3 innings of one-hit ball as Seattle posted an 8-1 home win over the A’s last month.

Only four other pitchers in baseball history have pitched 15 or more innings against the A’s without allowing a run. Cy Acosta of the Chicago White Sox holds the record against the A’s with 20 2/3 scoreless innings over 11 relief appearances from 1972-74.

Woo gained two other distinctions in May when he pitched shutout ball in three of his five starts, including his last time out, when he fired six scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Only six others in the majors matched the scoreless three-pack in May.

He began the run with his one-hit outing against the A’s in his first start of the season on May 10 after experiencing elbow pain in spring training.

At the same time, his 1.30 ERA over his first five starts of the season (all in May) is the fifth-best beginning to a season in Mariners history. Teammates Gilbert (0.64 in 2022) and Bryce Miller (1.15 in 2023) were two of the four who have done better for Seattle.

Woo, 24, was pulled after 66 pitches in his most recent start as a precaution as he has battled elbow and shoulder issues in his young career.

“Nothing that I’m concerned about,” he said. “Injuries are never fun to deal with, but you kind of just find a way to be ready to go on start day.”

If a third consecutive pitchers’ duel develops, it would be no surprise given how well A’s left-hander JP Sears (4-4, 4.01 ERA) has fared against the Mariners in his career. He did not face Seattle last month, keeping him 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA in six games, including five starts, against the Mariners in his career.

The 28-year-old has allowed one or zero runs in half of his 12 starts this season, but four or more in the other half.

–Field Level Media

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