GAME: Mariners (2-1, T3 AL West, 0.0 GA/GB) at Athletics (1-2, 4th AL West, 1.0 GB). GAME #: 4. SERIES: 3rd of 4 games. MEETING (2012): 4th (Mariners lead 2-1). WHEN: Saturday, 6:07 p.m., Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (Seattle, 0-0, 1.13) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (Oakland, 0-0, 0.13). STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Athletics L 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.
One night after pounding out 13 hits in a 7-3 win over the Oakland A’s, the Mariners will hand the ball Saturday to staff ace Felix Hernandez (0-0, 1.13 ERA), who can give Seattle its first winning streak and first series triumph of the 2012 season.
Hernandez, who took a no-decision March 28 when the Mariners opened the season in Tokyo Japan, will oppose long-time veteran Bartolo Colon, who has a long record of success against the Mariners (see below), and is particularly difficult to hit at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum.
Colon had little trouble handling their Mariners the last time they saw him, shackling the Seattle hitters on three hits over 8.0 innings in the season’s second game, also in the Tokyo Dome. Colon won that contest 4-1, defeating Friday night’s winning pitcher, Jason Vargas.
The Athletics, though, could do nothing with Hernandez when they last saw him. He allowed just one earned run on six hits. Tonight’s pairing:
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (0-0, 1.13 ERA, 0.63 WHIP)
The 25-year-old Hernandez, in his eighth major league season, all with the Mariners, will be making his second start, both against the Athletics.
A native of Valencia, VZ., the 6-3, 230-pound Hernandez was signed as a non-drafted free agent July 4, 2002 by Seattle scout Bob Engle.
He made his major league debut Aug. 4, 2005, absorbing a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, in a game in which Hernandez allowed one earned run and fanned four.
Hernandez is a two-time American League All-Star (2009, 2011) and won the AL Cy Young award in 2010, when he went 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA.
Hernandez brings a career mark of 85-67, 3.23 ERA into the game, and a career batting average against of .244.
- 2012: Hernandez pitched well enough to win his season debut, but the Mariners and Athletics battled through a 1-1 tie until the 11th inning when Seattle pushed across two runs to win 3-1, a contest that featured a home run and two RBIs by Dustin Ackley and a 4-for-5 performance by Ichiro.
- LAST START (Wednesday, March 28): Worked 8.0 innings, allowed five hits, one earned run with six strikeouts and took a no-decision in a 3-1 win over the Athletics (made his final Cactus League start April 2, allowing two hits and striking out six in a 7-2 win over Colorado).
- LAST VS. ATHLETICS (March 28): Faced 31 batters and threw 104 pitches, 66 for strikes. He recorded eight ground-ball outs and six fly-ball outs.
- CAREER VS. ATHLETICS: Has made 22 appearances, all starts, and has a 12-4 record with a 2.47 ERA in 153 innings.
- AT OAKLAND: 11 appearances, all starts, for a 5-2 record with a 3.00 ERA. The As have hit 7 homers, but have batted just .240.
- LOVES TO FACE: Josh Reddick (1-for-9, .111 BA), Coco Crisp (5-for-35, .143 BA, 7 Ks), Jonny Gomes (2-for-9, .222 BA, 5 Ks),
- HATES TO FACE: Kurt Suzuki (9-for-29, .310 BA, 4 RBIs); Cliff Pennington (8-for-28, .286, 2 2Bs).
- Went 3-2 with a 3.68 ERA in five spring training starts.
- 85 career wins ranks third on the club’s wins list, behind Jamie Moyer (145) and Randy Johnson (130).
- Ranks second in franchise history in ERA (3.24) and strikeouts (1,264).
- Mariners are 9-1 in Hernandez’s last 10 starts.
ATHLETICS: RHP Bartolo Colon (0-0, 1.13 ERA, 0.50 WHIP)
The 38-year-old Colon, in his 15th major league season and first with the Athletics, will be making his second start both against the Mariners.
A native of the Dominican Republic., the 5-11, 267-pound Colon was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent in 1993.
He made his debut with the Indians April 4, 1997, receiving a no-decision in an 8-6 loss to the California Angels. He allowed four runs on six hits.
Colon pitched for Cleveland from 1997-02, then was traded to the Montreal Expos in a deal that also involved former Mariner Cliff Lee (2010). Colon then pitched one year for the Chicago White Sox (2003), four years for the Angels (2004-07), a year with Boston (2008), another year with the White Sox (2009) and one year with the Yankees (2011). Colon did not pitch in 2010 due to injury.
A two-time All-Star (1998, 2005), Colon has won 20 or more games twice, with a best record of 21-8 in 2005. He led the American League in complete games in 2003 with 9.
- 2012: Has made one start, that against the Mariners, whom Colon did not face in 2011.
- LAST START (March 29): Worked 8.0 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits, and collected the win in a 4-1 Oakland victory over Seattle in the Tokyo Dome.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: The only damaging hit permitted by Colon was a 363-foot home run by Justin Smoak. Using mainly fastballs, Colon struck out six, walked one, getting 10 ground-ball outs and 11 fly-ball outs. He threw 86 pitches.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 30 games, all starts, and has a 15-11 record with a 4.02 ERA over 188.0 innings; whiffs 6.15 Mariners per 9; has been dinged for 18 home runs and has a .272 batting average against.
- AT OAKLAND: Has appeared in 13 games with six starts and has a 5-1 record with a 2.14 ERA.; tough to hit at Oakland: batting average against is .179.
- LOVES TO FACE: Brendan Ryan (0-for-3, .000 BA), Kyle Seager (0-for-3, .000 BA), Miguel Olivo (1-for-11, 0.91 BA, 5 Ks).
- HATES TO FACE: Chone Figgins (3-for-9, .333 BA), Ichiro (21-for-78, .278 BA, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs.
Mariners 7, Athletics 3
AT OAKLAND (April 6): Jason Vargas (1-0) allowed just two runs over 5.1 innings — one a massive home run to A’s center fielder Yoenis Cespedes — and the Mariners (2-1) slashed 13 hits in defeating Oakland for the second time in 2012. Chone Figgins, Seattle’s new leadoff hitter who is trying to resurrect his career, had three of the 13 hits and drove in two runs in support of Vargas.
“Great re-opening day,” said Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan, who produced two hits and a walk. “It’s great to get re-started on a great note.”
Kyle Seager, who singled twice and drove in a pair of runs, sliced a two-run single to highlight Seattle’s four-run third inning against Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy. The Mariners added two more runs in the sixth off reliever Jordan Norberto.
Cespedes, a Cuban defector in his first season with the Athletics, belted a cutting fastball off Vargas that hit the second deck facade in left-center.
Five different Mariners hitters produced multi-hit games, including Figgins (3) and Dustin Ackley (3) at the top of the order and Michael Saunders (2) and Ryan (2) at the bottom.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- The Mariners went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position, but left nine men on base.
- Ichiro (0-for-3), Justin Smoak (0-for-4) and Miguel Olivo (0-for-5) were the only Mariners without hits, but Ichiro had a walk, a sacrifice fly, a stolen base and an RBI.
- After three games, Seattle’s two “big” hitters, Smoak and Jesus Montero, are batting .077 and .182, respectively.
- Vargas threw 91 pitches, including 58 for strikes; he struck out three and walked just one batter.
- After three games, the Mariners are 6-for-18 (.333) with runners in scoring position.
- Expect fastballs when Colon pitches against the Mariners. In his first start, more than 90 percent of his pitches were fastballs, 78 of 86. Since the start of the 2011 season, 83.2 percent of Colon’s pitches have been fastballs.
- Mariners concluded spring training with a record of 16-9-1, including 8-5-1 at Peoria Stadium. It marked the 12th winning spring in club history.
- Infielder Munenori Kawasaki, who signed with the Mariners as a non-roster invitee last winter after a decorated career in Japan, led Seattle and the Cactus League in batting average at .450.
- Eighteen of the Mariners’ first 27 games will be played on the road (and 28 of the first 43). Mariners will have eight road games before the first home game April 13.
- Felix Hernandez’s Opening Day start marked the fifth of his Mariners career. In those five, Hernandez is 3-0 (two no-decisions) with a 1.59 ERA and 33 strikeouts.
- When Jason Vargas started against the Athletics Friday, he became the first Mariner to start back-to-back team games since Gil Meche July 9 and July 14, 2008 (before and after All-Star break).
- Ichiro now has 284 career hits against Oakland, the most by any player since 1968. Hall of Famers Rod Carew and George Brett had 281 and 271, respectively.
AL WEST STANDINGS
MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN
|Rec.||Home||Road||Day||Night||vs. RHP||vs. LHP||Hit HR||No HR|
MARINERS BATTING PROFILE
MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE
|4/9||Mon||at Tex||Noesi (0-0, 0.00) vs. Darvish (0-0, 0.00)|
|4/10||Tue||at Tex||Beavan (0-0) vs. Feliz (0-0, 0.00)|
|4/10||Tue||at Tex||Millwood (0-0) vs. Lewis (0-0, 0.00)|
|4/10||Tue||at Tex||Vargas (0-0, 1.42) vs. Holland (0-0, 0.00)|
MARINERS 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|Gm.#||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|1||3/28||at Oak||W, 3-1||1-0||W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)|
|2||3/29||at Oak||L, 4-1||1-1||W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)|
|Gm. #||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|3||4/6||at Oak||W, 7-3||2-1||W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)|