On a team lacking in offense for much of the season, rookie Nick Franklin has been a shining light for the Mariners as they search for the right balance of productive pitching, hitting and defense.
Franklin drove in all three of Seattle's runs in Friday's series opener against the A's with his fourth home run of the season, and his two-run single in the eighth of the Mariners' 7-5 win helped snap a three-game losing streak Saturday at Safeco Field.
Manager Eric Wedge said Franklin is the type of player who hits better in the Majors than in the Minor Leagues.
"You've seen players like that in the past, they keep playing up to the level and usually they're players of his personality," Wedge said. "Confident, they walk tall, they have the ultimate belief in themselves and their entire game. They see where their career is going before it even happens. I think he qualifies for that."
Since Franklin made his debut on May 27, he leads AL rookies in home runs with four, extra-base hits with 11, RBIs with 13 and is tied for first with seven doubles.
The Mariners hope Franklin can come through again in Sunday's rubber match, when Jeremy Bonderman takes the mound at Safeco Field.
Bonderman is in the midst of a torrid comeback. The 30-year old right-hander is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA over his past three starts (20 innings, 12 hits, two earned runs) and is 1-1 with a 3.28 since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma. He made his season debut on June 2, and went 975 days between Major League starts.
Standing in Bonderman's way is 24-year-old Jarrod Parker, who is 6-6 with a 4.30 ERA in a sporadic second season with Oakland.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA over four starts in June, 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in six road starts and 1-1 against the Mariners this season. He won his last outing at Safeco Field in early May. He surrendered two runs in the third inning in his last win against the Rangers last week, but that was all the Texas could score. He ended his outing retiring 12 of his last 14 batters.
"My changeup was pretty good tonight," Parker said after picking up his sixth win of the season. "I think I found it in the last game. It's starting to come back to where I can throw it for a strike or put it down in the zone for a punchout."
A's: Jaso misses second straight
A left palm abrasion kept catcher John Jaso out of the starting lineup for a second straight day, though he was considered to be available off the bench if necessary.
"Between [the two catchers], I think it probably equates to having one and a half right now," manager Bob Melvin said. "But if he had to go back there, he could, even if I had to pick him up and carry him back there."
Jaso, who suffered the injury while sliding in Texas on Thursday, was a late scratch from Friday's game after experiencing significant pain in the hand while attempting to take batting practice. It wasn't any better Saturday, when Derek Norris received another start behind the plate.
"I don't know what kind of time it's going to take," Jaso said, "but I definitely can't swing. It hurts way too bad."
The timing of the injury is unfortunate for Jaso, who has reached base safely in 18 of his last 19 games, going 20-for-58 with 13 walks over that span for a .466 on-base percentage.
Mariners: Morse to DL with quad issue
On Saturday, Michael Morse was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Friday.
While pinch-hitting against the Angels on Thursday, the 31-year old slugger felt pain in his already aggravated right leg. He has seen only limited action since straining his right quad on May 28 against San Diego.
After missing seven games following the injury, Morse saw occasional time as a designated hitter, pinch-hitter and first baseman. His ability to play through injury was crucial for the Mariners, with players such as Justin Smoak and Franklin Gutierrez recovering from their own injuries. But playing through the pain has come at a price for Morse, who has seen his OPS has fall from .799 in April to .774 in May to .653 in June.
"For him to suck it up and try to get through it was great but we did feel like he was going to progress better than he did," Wedge said. "But ultimately he didn't, so I think the best thing for him and for us in regard to the season is to shut him down and get him healthy."
• Third baseman Kyle Seager leads the team in hits (83) and walks (28), giving him a .354 on-base percentage. No player has led the Mariners in both categories since Edgar Martinez in 1995.
• Seager enters Sunday's game with a seven-game hitting streak, his third streak of five or more games with a hit in 2013.
• The A's are 12-9 in June after going 16-12 in both April and May and have gone six consecutive months with a winning record dating back to last June.
Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.