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05/03/09 3:00 AM ET

Jakubauskas wise beyond MLB years

Seattle (14-10) vs. Oakland (9-12), 1:10 p.m. PT

SEATTLE -- The first thing right-hander Chris Jakubauskas said after being congratulated for holding the White Sox to two hits over eight innings was, "Thanks, but we lost the game."

He might be a rookie, but the 30-year-old Independent League graduate gets it. Individual accomplishments are fine, but unless they occur during a game your team wins, there's a bittersweet feeling.

The past five days have been a lot better than the previous six days, and he feels a lot better about himself going into Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Athletics than he did heading into his start against the White Sox last Tuesday in Chicago.

Faced with adversity for the first time since Spring Training started, when he surrendered 10 hits and six runs in3 1/3 innings against the Rays on April 22 at Safeco Field, Jakubauskas responded with a stellar start against the Sox.

"I thought that in the first couple of innings he was still feeling his way through," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "But when he got through those innings, I think he regained some confidence and showed us what we liked about him. He commanded the baseball, didn't try to overthrow and used all of his pitches."

After retiring the first 13 batters he faced, Jakubauskas yielded a walk, single and double in the fourth inning, producing the only runs and hits he would allow in the opener of a double-header.

"There are a lot of positives," he said after the game, "but there's one negative -- the ball I left out over the plate that [Paul] Konerko hit down the line.

"I knew I'd missed my spot, and he's been doing this a long time, a lot longer than me, and he's not gonna miss that ball."

Moved into the Mariners' starting rotation as a replacement for injured left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith, who remains sidelined with triceps tendinitis, Jakubauskas makes his third career start on Sunday looking for his second win. His first career victory came against the Athletics on April 10, when he replaced Rowland-Smith in the fourth inning, pitched two frames and was credited with Seattle's 5-4 victory in Oakland.

Catcher Kenji Johjima makes his second start since coming off the disabled list on Friday.

The initial game plan was for Johjima to catch Friday and Saturday night and for Rob Johnson to start on Sunday. But those plans changed after the series opener.

"Not that [Friday] night's game was strenuous," Wakamatsu said, "but we just felt this was a good time to have him rest after that game. He will be back in there tomorrow. We'll go day-to-day on who we will catch."

Pitching matchup
SEA: RHP Chris Jakubauskas (1-3, 5.23 ERA)
Jakubauskas showed the composure the organization was looking for, bouncing back from a rough second career big league start to throw a complete game in his third. Where the 30-year-old rookie got ahead of himself against Tampa Bay, he was able to focus on strike one in Chicago. Jakubauskas retired the first 10 batters in a row on Tuesday as well as the final 13 batters he faced. The White Sox managed two hits that led to two runs, but Jakubauskas was otherwise flawless in a 2-1 loss.

OAK: LHP Josh Outman (0-0, 5.23 ERA)
Outman, who won the fifth spot in Oakland's starting rotation with a strong final appearance at Spring Training in Arizona, posted a 6.48 ERA in his first two assignments and was temporarily moved into the bullpen as the A's went with a four-man rotation in the wake of two off-days and a rainout in the span of a week. While working out of the bullpen, Outman retired six of the seven batters he faced. He'll be starting for the first time since April 17, and it'll be his second start of the year against the Mariners. The first time came April 11, when he gave up three runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings.

The Athletics will start left-hander Josh Outman in the series finale, and look for left-handed-hitting Russell Branyan to be at first base. Reports that he could not hit lefty pitchers have been unfounded so far this season. He is 7-for-20 against left-handers, which is more hits than he had off lefties the past two seasons combined -- going 3-for-33 in 2007 and '08. Branyan entered the season with a career average of .204 (59-for-289) against southpaws. ... The Mariners are now 8-1 in first games of a series this season. ... Going into Saturday night's game, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt was the last player without at least one walk this season. He had shared that distinction with Mike Sweeney, but Sweeney coaxed three free passes from the Athletics on Friday night. Betancourt has no walks in 84 official at-bats. ... Saturday night's loss snapped the Mariners' seven-game winning streak against the Athletics.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
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Up next
• Monday: Mariners (Felix Hernandez, 4-0, 2.38) vs. Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 2-2, 2.13), 7:10 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: Mariners (Erik Bedard, 2-1, 2.61) vs. Rangers (Vicente Padilla, 1-2, 7.43), 1:40 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Mariners (Carlos Silva, 1-2, 7.36) at Royals (Sidney Ponson, 0-4, 7.16), 5:10 p.m. PT

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.