Mariners' Ramirez continues audition vs. Athletics

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez will continue his audition for a spot in the Seattle Mariners' 2018 rotation Wednesday afternoon when he makes his final start of the season against the Oakland Athletics.

A's right-hander Kendall Graveman, meanwhile, will try to remain perfect at the Oakland Coliseum this season in his final start of the season.

Ramirez, who was re-acquired by Seattle on July 28 from the Tampa Bay Rays in a trade for reliever Steve Cishek, has made 100 relief appearances and 81 starts in his major league career, which began in 2012 with the Mariners.

"I would like to be a starter," Ramirez said Tuesday. "Oh my God. It's been up and down. I got traded to Tampa (after the 2014 season) when everyone was injured almost so they had no more choices. So they let me start (in 2015). I had my best year. The next year, they sent me back to the 'pen. It was something I didn't expect.

"Every time I get the opportunity (to start), I try to show what I can do. I don't care what type of team it is, now hot they are, how big they are. I don't care."

Ramirez proved his point in his last start Friday night at Safeco Field against the Cleveland Indians, who had won a franchise-record 14 straight road games.

Ramirez allowed one run on three hits over eight innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks. He got a no-decision, but the Mariners snapped Cleveland's streak with a 3-1 victory. Ramirez matched his career highs for strikeouts and innings pitched.

"He's been good since we traded for him," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He does what he does. He sinks it and has a good cutter and changeup. He throws a lot of strikes, and when he's ahead in the count, he gets guys off the fastball. So he expands the zone. ...

"He's had a bunch of really good outings for us since we acquired him."

Ramirez is 1/3 with a 3.79 ERA in 10 starts for Seattle this season. He is 5-6 with a 4.35 ERA overall in 36 appearances (18 starts).

Ramirez is 30-35 with a 4.19 ERA for his career, but he is still searching for his first victory against the Athletics. He is 0-7 with a 4.78 ERA against Oakland in 15 games (nine starts).

The Mariners defeated the A's 6-3 on Tuesday night and will go for a three-game sweep Wednesday. They have won a franchise-record eight consecutive games against Oakland, a streak that Graveman will try to stop.

Graveman is 6-4 with a 4.17 ERA in 18 starts overall this season, but he is 5-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts at the Coliseum.

"I want to keep that moving forward," Graveman said. "It's fun to pitch here. I think we all play well here. We've shown that we play at home very well as a team this year."

Graveman spent more than two months on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. Since being activated on Aug. 3, he is 4-2 with 4.47 ERA in 10 starts. In his latest outing, Graveman gave up one run on six hits over seven innings in a 4-1 victory against Texas on Friday at the Coliseum.

"I think the way the last couple of starts have been, I have felt 100 percent," Graveman said. "There's a little side of being injured, the mental side of it. It takes a couple weeks to get over it. Even if your body is physically healthy, the mental side is the last thing to come. And when that jumps on board and you feel physically good and mentally good, you start to see some progress."

Graveman is 1/3 with a 4.85 ERA in nine career games (seven starts) against Seattle. In his lone appearance vs. the Mariners this year, he gave up four runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings during a no-decision on Aug. 8.
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