By Alex Gallant
Special to

After a tough loss Thursday night, where the Mariners jumped out to an 8-1 lead at one point, the psyche of this team will be tested as they start an eight-game homestand tonight against Oakland.

The team didn't arrive back in Seattle until around 4 a.m., and that combined with one of the harder losses they've suffered this season could make it difficult for Seattle to put forth a solid effort tonight.

But, as TV analyst Mike Blowers mentions in this evening's "Blowers on Baseball," the game of baseball, especially at the major league level, is a grind, and the team will have to stay mentally focused after a long night.

"More than anything, it's the mental aspect, concentration and focus, that's the hardest part," Blowers said. "Tonight is going to be about concentrating, working your way through the game, and tricking yourself into being just fine when maybe you're not."

The Mariners took two out of three against Oakland last weekend, and they'll look to do as well, or even better, this weekend against the A's.

Hisashi Iwakuma takes the mound for Seattle tonight. He was roughed up in his five innings of work Sunday in Oakland, surrendering four runs on eight hits.

But he returns to the friendly confines of Safeco Field, where he is 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA in seven starts this season.

You can check out the rest of "Blowers on Baseball" here.

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