The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics officially kicked off the 2012 baseball season last week in Japan. They've returned to the United States and will now pick up where they left off. The M's head into Oakland on Friday to start the season in earnest and attempt to prove to their American League West rivals that they're not the pushover they seemed to be at times last season.
If these two games are indeed the continuation of the games in Japan, the Mariners have a chance to take the series, which is currently tied 1-1. The Mariners are set up well to manage at least a split, as ace Felix Hernandez will pitch again on Saturday.
The Mariners got a head start on the rest of the AL by getting an advance look at Yoenis Cespedes. Unfortunately for Seattle, he seems every bit as dangerous as ever. He'll be the hitter to watch in this season. In the meantime, Seattle lefties Dustin Ackley and Ichiro Suzuki dodge a bullet in not have to face emerging LHP Tom Milone.
Here's all your viewing information for the short two-game series.
Friday's game will pit Jason Vargas against Brandon McCarthy at the Oakland Coliseum. The game will begin at 7:05 p.m. PT and will air on Root Sports. You can listen to the radio broadcast on 710 ESPN.