Maybe just getting out of Toronto will be enough for the Mariners to shake their four-game slump when they open a three-game series Monday against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field.
But it will sure help if veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo can repeat his breakthrough success against Oakland in the series opener.
Gallardo had never beaten the Athletics in six previous career starts before he prevented them from completing a four-game sweep last month by yielding just one run in 6 1/3 innings in an 11-1 romp.
It was Gallardo’s only victory this season in seven starts and easily his best performance as a Mariner. He had a season-high seven strikeouts and permitted just four hits.
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The key that day in Oakland was Gallardo avoided the big inning that has so often plagued him this season in squandering leads of three runs or more on three occasions.
Both clubs are seeking to pull out of skids that followed encouraging stretches.
The Mariners (17-21) suffered a four-game sweep at Toronto after winning six of their previous seven games, while Oakland (16-21) has lost four of five since registering three straight walk-off victories.
The Athletics plan to start lefty Sean Manaea after activating him from the disabled list. He hasn’t pitched for the Athletics since April 26 because of a shoulder injury but worked four innings May 9 in a minor-league rehab start.
Manaea held the Mariners to one run in six innings on April 21 in a 3-1 victory at the Oakland Coliseum. He is 3-0 with a 3.91 ERA in four career starts against the Mariners.
***The Mariners are expected to activate reliever Steve Cishek prior to Monday’s game. That will require a corresponding space-clearing move in the bullpen. One possibility would be to option lefty Zac Curtis back to Double-A Arkansas.
***Whether second baseman Robinson Cano starts Monday is likely to be a game-time decision. He missed all four games in Toronto because of a strained right quadriceps muscle but appeared to be improving by the end of the weekend.
***The Athletics won three of four games when the two teams met April 20-23 in Oakland.
***Shortstop Jean Segura has a 13-game hitting streak and leads the American League with a .371 average. He is hitting .417 (25-for-60) in his 13-game run.
***Designated hitter Nelson Cruz leads the American League with 31 RBIs.
***Oakland first baseman Yonder Alonso enters the series with eight homers and 15 RBIs in his last 12 games.
***Athletics left fielder Khris Davis has cooled considerably since the Mariners last saw him. After hitting 10 homers in his first 23 games, Davis does not have a homer in his last 12 games.
***Center fielder Jarrod Dyson leads the American League in the defensive WAR (wins above replacement) metric at plus-1.0.
***Yonder Alonso is 10-for-28 in his career against Gallardo, while Trevor Plouffe is 4-for-14 with two homers. Stephen Vogt is 4-for-9 with two doubles and a homer.
***Guillermo Heredia is 4-for-6 in his career against Manaea, while Cruz is 3-for-6 with a homer. But Manaea has handled Cano (1-for-12) and Kyle Seager (2-for-10).
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners