GAME: Twins (7-19, 5th AL Central, -7.5 GB) Mariners (12-17, 3rd AL West, – 7.0 GB). GAME #: 30. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 3rd (series tied 1-1). WHEN: Sunday, 1:05 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Nick Blackburn (Minnesota, 0-3, 6.64) vs. RHP Hector Noesi (Seattle, 1-3, 7.83). STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Twins L 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.
Their seven-game losing streak history, the Mariners (12-17) close out a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins Sunday at Safeco Field. Hector Noesi, who hasn’t won since blanking Oakland 4-0 April 14, gets the start for Seattle. He will oppose Nick Blackburn (0-3), who hasn’t won since July 8, 2011. A closer look at the probables:
MARINERS: RHP Hector Noesi (1-3, 7.83 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
In his second major league season, first with the Mariners, Noesi, 25, is making his sixth start and first against the Twins.
A native of Esperanza, Valverde, Dominican Republic, the 6-3, 200-pound Noesi was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees in 2004.
Noesi made his major league debut May 18 against the Baltimore Orioles. The fifth Yankees reliever that day, he collected the win by working four innings, allowing four hits, no runs and fanning four.
Noesi became a Mariner Jan. 23 when he was traded by the Yankees, along with Jesus Montero, to Seattle for Jose Campos (minors) and Michael Pineda, an All-Star starter.
Noesi, who appeared in 30 games for the Yankees, making two starts, has a career record of 3-5, 5.45 ERA and 1.54 WHIP.
- LAST START: May 1 at Tampa Bay, allowed three runs on three hits in 5.2 innings in a 3-1 loss to the Rays; struck out one and walked three, throwing 84 pitches, just 46 for strikes; allowed one home run.
- LAST VS. TWINS: Aug. 20, 2011, pitching in relief for the New York Yankees, did not factor in the decision; allowed no runs on one hit and fanned two, facing just five batters.
- CAREER VS. TWINS: Has appeared in just one game (no starts), has an 0-0 record and a 0.00 ERA; has only worked one inning.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 1-1 record, 3.63 ERA in three games, including two starts covering 11.2 innings; strikes out 6.2 K’s per 9 innings and has allowed one home run.
- LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Noesi has only faced seven current members of the Minnesota Twins. Those Twins are 1-for-7 against him, Joe Mauer getting the only hit.
Noesi / 2012
- April 9 (L, 0-1): Shelled for seven earned runs in 3.0 innings in an 11-5 loss to the Rangers.
- April 14 (W, 1-1): Collected his first win as a Mariner by working 8.0 IP, allowing five hits and no runs in a 4-0 win over Oakland; fanned six, issued one walk and recorded 17 fly-ball outs vs. five ground-ball outs; 100 pitches, 68 for strikes.
- April 20 (L, 1-2): Didnt make it past the second inning in a 7-3 loss to the White Sox at Safeco Field; allowed six earned runs on six hits, including one home run.
- April 26 (ND, 1-2): Gave up four runs on five hits over 5.0 innings and allowed one home run; threw 77 pitches, 49 for strikes.
- May 1 (L, 1-3): Allowed three runs on three hits in 5.2 innings in a 3-1 loss to the Rays; struck out one and walked three, throwing 84 pitches, just 46 for strikes; allowed one home run.
TWINS: RHP Nick Blackburn (0-3, 6.64 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
The 30-year-old Blackburn, in his sixth major league season, all with the Twins, will be making his fifth start of the season and first against the Mariners.
A native of Ada, OK., the 6-4, 220-pound Blackburn was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 29th round of the 2001 amateur draft.
Blackburn pitched in the Atlanta system for five years before making his major league debut Sept. 3, 2007 in Minnesotas 5-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians at the Metrodome; pitched one inning, did not factor in the decision.
Blackburn went 0-2 over the balance of the 2007 season and has been an integral part of Minnesotas rotation ever since, making 25+ starts in each of the past four years.
He has three times produced double figures in wins, with a high of 11 in 2008 and 2009. Last year, Blackburn went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 26 games, all starts.
Blackburn has appeared in an American Leader board once, allowing a league-high 240 hits in 2009.
Blackburn has a career record of 39-49, 4.56 ERA.
- 2012: The Twins are 0-4 in Blackburns starts, and has not pitched more than 6.0 innings in any of them; has twice allowed five earned runs; had his best start April 14 vs. Texas when he allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings (took a no-decision).
- LAST START: April 30 vs. Los Angeles Angels, allowed three earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings; struck out two, walked one and allowed one home run; losing pitcher in Minnesotas 4-3 defeat.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: May 24 at Target Center, defeated the Mariners and Doug Fister 4-2; allowed two runs on seven hits in a complete-game effort; fanned six and did not walk a batter, but gave up one home run, to Miguel Olivo.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 3-1, 2.91 in seven starts, covering 46.1 innings; has 21 strikeouts to eight walks; two home runs.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 2-1, 3.20 ERA in four starts, covering 25.1 innings; has eight strikeouts vs. four walks; one home run.
- LOVES TO FACE: Michael Saunders (0-for-5, .000 BA), Justin Smoak (1-for-4, .250 BA).
- HATES TO FACE: Miguel Olivo (10-for-21, .476 BA, 3 HRs), Chone Figgins (11-for-26, .423 BA, 1 HR), Ichiro (6-for-20, .300 BA).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. BLACKBURN: 37-for-105, .352 BA, 4 HRs, 12 Ks.
AL WEST STANDINGS
MARINERS / STATS NOTES
- CURRENT HOMESTAND: Three vs. Minnesota Friday-Sunday and three vs. Detroit Monday-Wednesday. Mariners swept the Tigers in Detroit April 25-27. This will be Detroit’s only visit to Safeco Field in 2012 . . . Promotions: Sunday — Little League Day (Brandon League poster); Monday — BECU Family Night; Tuesday — Military Special Night; Wednesday — Early Mother’s Day Celebration (Mariners Necklace).
- MARINERS VS. TWINS: Mariners are 204-195-1 all-time vs. the Twins, including 111-87 in Seattle and 36-26 at Safeco Field. Mariners won the 2011 series 5-3, splitting two games at Safeco Field. Mariners outscored the Twins 31-25. Twins also play in Seattle Aug. 17-19. Mariners play in Target Center Aug. 27-30 . . . Mariners have not swept a three-game series from Minnesota at Safeco Field since July 27-29, 2001.
- LATEST: The combined one-hitter by Felix Hernandez and Steve Delabar Saturday was the 13th in Mariners history. Ten have been thrown by one pitcher, three combined. Most recent combined: Michael Pineda, Jeff Gray and Brandon League vs. Tampa, July 30. Most recent by one pitcher: Jarrod Washburn, July 6, 2009 . . . In his past four outings, Hernandez has allowed 15 hits and two earned runs, dropping his ERA to 1.89. Against the Twins Saturday, Hernandez set them down 1-2-3 in seven of eight innings . . . In 10 games as a catcher, Jesus Montero has batted .444 (16×36). In 16 games as a DH, Montero has hit .197 (12×61) . . .With an eye toward making him a starter, the Mariners sent reliever Erasmo Ramirez to AAA Tacoma Saturday and recalled veteran Shawn Kelley . . . Since being dropped to the No. 7 slot in the batting order Wednesday, Justin Smoak has gone 1-for-13 and is hitting .177. . . Mariners whiffed 46 times in their last road series at Tampa. In two vs. Minnesota, they have fanned nine times . . . When the Mariners hit three doubles in the fifth inning Friday, it marked the first time Seattle recorded a trio of two-baggers in the same inning since the fourth inning against San Diego May 21, 2010.
- SERIES/STREAKS: Series Record: Won 3, split 0, lost 5; Sweeps: 1; Swept: 1. Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27). Longest Losing Streak: 7 (April 28-May 4).
- BATTING: Mariners rank ninth (AL) in runs (111), fourth in hits (236), third in doubles (51), eighth in triples (4) and eighth in home runs (26) . . . Rank 12th in batting average (.238), 13th in on-base percentage (.290), 11th in slugging (.376) and 12th in OPS (.666) . . . batting 55-for-242 (.227) with runners in scoring position after going 3-for-9 (.333 Saturday) . . . out-homered 32-26 . . . left 181 men on base, opponents 179. . .scored 111 runs, opponents 118. . . scored 62 of 115 runs in the first four innings . . . 11-4 when scoring 4+ runs . . . homered in nine of last 12 games batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th) . . .shut out four times (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland, April 21 vs. Chicago, April 27 at Toronto).
- BATTING EXTRA: Jesus Montero and Miguel Olivo share Seattle’s longest hitting streak: 8 games, Montero March 29-April 14, Olivo April 22 until he went on DL May 1 . . . Mariners have recorded four bases-loaded walks (Kawasaki, Ryan, Montero, Smoak) . . . Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning April 17 marked the 50,000th hit in Mariners’ history, and Brendan Ryan’s walk in the same frame scored Justin Smoak with the 25,000th run in franchise history . . . Montero’s 13 RBIs in April were the most by a Mariners’ rookie since 1986 . . . Three Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 vs. Oakland), Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) and Jesus Montero (May 1 at Tampa) have four-hit games.
- PITCHING: Mariners rank eighth in ERA (3.92), seventh in hits allowed (227), 10th in runs allowed (118), 10th in home runs allowed (32), seventh in walks (80), seventh in strikeouts (202) . . . Felix Hernandez has 17 career no-decisions while throwing 7.0 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs . . . Closer Brandon League has two blown saves after not blowing his first save of 2011 until May 10.
- ICHIRO (1-for-2 Saturday) has 763 multi-hit games, which ranks fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro’s 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players . . . Three-hit game April 30 marked the 226th of his major league career . . . Ranks No. 101 on career hits list (2,463), three behind No. 100 Harry Hooper (2,466) . . . Since 2001, has recorded 99 outfield assists. Only Jeff Francouer, with 100, has more . . . With 96 career home runs, needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
- ODDS/ENDS: Mariners do not have an off day until Thursday, after which they play 20 consecutive days, making for a 37-day stretch including 36 games . . . Mariners have three more bobblehead nights: May 25 (Dustin Ackley), June 15 (Felix Hernandez), July 28 (Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson).
- DEBUTS: Munenori Kawasaki (April 7), Lucas Luetge (April 7), Erasmo Ramirez (April 9), Hisashi Iwakuma (April 20).
- DISABLED LIST: Miguel Olivo (15-day, May 1, strained right groin), George Sherrill (15-day, April 13, strained flexor bundle), Franklin Gutierrez (15-day, March 28, torn pectoral muscle), Adam Moore (15-day, March 28, fractured wrist).
2012 RECORDS / MILESTONES
- April 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo matched the franchise record when he was charged with three passed balls in a 7-4 win at Detroit. Jerry Narron let three balls get by him Oct. 4, 1980, and Jeff Clement did likewise Aug. 10, 2008 (Clement was catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey).
- April 27: Michael Saunders joined Donnie Scott (April 29, 1985) and Jimmy Presley (April 8, 1986) as the only Mariners to hit two home runs in a game in the ninth inning or later (solo homer in the 9th, grand slam in the 10th).
- April 30: When both Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero homered, it marked the first time in franchise history that two players had homered in the same game as a catcher.
- May 2: Ichiro set a club record for most putouts by a right fielder in a nine-inning game, registering 10 in a 5-4 loss at Tampa.
- May 3: The Mariners featured a lineup at Tampa Bay that included seven left- handed hitters and two switch-hitters. It marked only the third time in club history that the Mariners used an all left-sided lineup. Others: Aug. 13, 1983 at California and Aug. 9, 1983 at Oakland.
MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN
|Rec.||Home||Road||Day||Night||vs. RHP||vs. LHP||Hit HR||No HR|
MARINERS BATTING PROFILE
MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE
|5/6||Sun||vs. Min||Noesi (1-3, 7.83) vs. Blackburn (0-3, 6.64)|
|5/7||Mon||vs. Det||Beavan (1-3, 4.45) vs. Fister (0-0, 0.00)|
|5/8||Tue||vs. Det||Millwood (0-3, 5.34) vs. Verlander (2-1, 2.38)|
|5/9||Wed||vs. Min||Jason Vargas (tonight) vs. Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.23)|
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)|
|4||4/7||at Oak||W, 8-7||3-1||W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)|
|5||4/9||at Tex||L, 11-5||3-2||W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)|
|6||4/10||at Tex||L, 1-0||3-3||W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)|
|7||4/11||at Tex||W, 4-3||4-3||W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)|
|8||4/12||at Tex||L, 5-3||4-4||W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1|
|9||4/13||vs Oak||L, 4-0||4-5||W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)|
|10||4/14||vs. Oak||W, 4-0||5-5||W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)|
|11||4/15||vs. Oak||W, 5-3||6-5||W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)|
|12||4/17||vs. Cle||L, 9-8||6-6||W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)|
|13||4/18||vs. Cle||W, 4-1||7-6||W: Vargas (2-1); L: Lowe (2-1)|
|14||4/19||vs. Cle||L, 2-1||7-7||W: Tomlin (1-1); L: League (0-1)|
|15||4/20||vs. CWS||L, 7-3||7-8||W: Sale (2-1); L: Noesi (1-2)|
|16||4/21||vs. CWS||L, 4-0||7-9||W: Humber (1-0); Beavan (1-2)|
|17||4/22||vs. CWS||L, 7-4||7-10||W: Danks (2-2); L: Millwood (0-1)|
|18||4/24||at Det||W, 7-4||8-10||W: Vargas (3-1); L: Scherzer (1-2)|
|19||4/25||at Det||W, 9-1||9-10||W: Fernandez (2-1); L: Wilk (0-3)|
|20||4/26||at Det||W, 5-4||10-10||W: Furbush (1-1); L: Porcello (1-2)|
|21||4/27||at Tor||W, 9-5||11-10||W: Furbush (2-1); L: Perez (2-1)|
|22||4/28||at Tor||L, 7-0||11-11||W: Morrow (2-1); L: Millwood (0-2)|
|23||4/29||at Tor||L, 7-2||11-12||W: Alvarez (1-2); L: Vargas (3-2)|
|24||4/30||at TB||L, 3-2||11-13||W: Howell (1-0); L: League (0-2)|
|Gm. #||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|25||5/1||at TB||L, 3-1||11-14||W: Moore (1-1); L: Noesi (1-3)|
|26||5/2||at TB||L, 5-4||11-15||W: Shields (5-0); L: Beavan (1-3)|
|27||5/3||at TB||L, 4-3||11-16||W: Niemann (2-3); L: Millwood (0-3)|
|28||5/4||vs. Min||L, 3-2||11-17||W: Pavano (2-2); L: Wilhelmsen (1-1)|
|29||5/5||vs. Min||W, 7-0||12-17||W: Hernandez (3-1); L: Marquis (2-1)|