GAME: Mariners (21-29, 4th, AL West, – 10.0 GB) at Rangers (30-18, 1st, AL West, 6.5 GA. GAME #: 51. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING: 8th (Rangers lead 4-3). WHEN: Monday, 5:05 p.m., Rangers Ballpark, Arlington TX. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Kevin Millwood (Seattle, 3-4, 3.72) vs. LHP Matt Harrison (Texas, 5-3, 4.72). STREAKS: Mariners L 4; Rangers W 3. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.
Reeling from four consecutive losses, the Mariners open a three-game series Monday at a venue where they are least likely to end their misfortunes — Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX. The Mariners haven’t posted a winning record in the park since 2002 (2-11 over the past two seasons), but they do have one thing in their favor as the series opens — Kevin Millwood.
Dating to a three-run second inning against Detroit May 8, Millwood has given up just one run in his last 25 innings. The 17 consecutive scoreless innings he’s tossed is the second-longest such streak of his career.
“The biggest thing is that the confidence has been building for the last couple of weeks so I feel like when I go out there it just feels like I’m going to have a good game and throw the ball well,” Millwood said this week. “Confidence goes a long ways in this game.”
The Mariners can’t have much of that after going 4-for-32 (.125) with runners in scoring position in their four-game meltdown against the Angels, and considering that the Rangers have the best offense — and some of the best pitching — baseball.
But the Mariners are obligated to show up, and Millwood is tasked with reversing an abysmal Texas trend. Standing in his way is LHP Matt Harrison, who is coming off a 3-1 win over Seattle at Safeco Field last week. A closer look at Monday’s probables:
MARINERS: RHP Kevin Millwood (3-4, 4.29 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
In his 16th major league season and first with the Mariners, Millwood is making his 10th start and third against the Rangers, the team Millwood played for in 2011. Millwood had a no-decision against Texas April 11 and is coming off a 5-3 win over the Rangers Wednesday.
A native of Gastonia, NC., the 6-4, 230-pound Millwood was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 1993 amateur draft.
Millwood made his major league debut July 14, 1997, winning in relief for the Braves against Philadelphia. During his career, Millwood pitched for the Braves (1997-02), Philadelphia (2003-04), Cleveland (2005), Texas (2006-09), Baltimore (2010) and Colorado (2011) before joining the Mariners.
Millwood twice won 18 games in a season, going 18-7 for the 1999 Braves and 18-8 for the 2002 Braves. Millwood led the National League in starts with 35 in 2000, led the NL in shutouts in 2003 with three, led the American League in ERA in 2005 at 2.86, and the AL in losses in 2010 with 16.
Millwood represented Atlanta in the 1999 All-Star Game.
During his American League career, Millwood made 24 starts against the Mariners, posting an 8-13 record with a 4.91 ERA.
Millwood signed with the Mariners Jan. 24 as a free agent, and earned the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong performance during spring training.
Millwood will take a career record of 166-144, 4.10 ERA into Monday’s game.
- LAST START: May 23 at Safeco Field, defeated Texas 5-3; three hits and no runs in 6.0 innings, his third consecutive victory after starting 0-4; struck out two, walked one.
- LAST VS. RANGERS: May 23 at Safeco Field, was brilliant in his second consecutive start. Coming off a two-hitter at Colorado, Millwood’s day ended early only because of a high pitch count. By that point, the Mariners had the lead, thanks to Alex Liddi’s grand slam.
- CAREER VS. RANGERS: 1-2, 3.38 ERA in five starts, covering 32.0 innings; has 18 strikeouts to eight walks; has allowed four home runs.
- AT RANGERS BALLPARK: 28-17, 4.51 ERA in 62 starts, covering 371.1 innings; has 253 strikeouts to 120 walks; 34 home runs.
- LOVES TO FACE: David Murphy (0-for-6, .000 BA), Mitch Moreland (0-for-7, .000 BA), Adrian Beltre (20-for-79, .253 BA).
- HATES TO FACE: Josh Hamilton (4-for-10, .400 BA, 1 HR), Mike Napoli (6-for-16, .375 BA), Yorvit Torrealba (3-for-9, .333 BA).
- CURRENT RANGERS VS. MILLWOOD: 40-for-164, .256 BA, six HRs, 25 strikeouts.
Millwood / 2012
- April 11 (ND, 0-0): Allowed one earned run on four hits over 6 innings; a no-decision in a 4-3 Seattle victory over Texas; struck out seven, walked three; threw 103 pitches, 61 for strikes.
- April 17 (ND, 0-0): Couldnt hold an 8-1 lead, but took a no-decision after allowing seven runs on nine hits in four innings in Seattles 9-8 loss to Cleveland.
- April 22 (L, 0-1): Shelled for the second consecutive starts (five earned runs in 6.0 IP) in a 7-4 loss to Cleveland at Safeco.
- April 28 (L, 0-2): Lost 7-0 at Toronto despite allowing just one earned run on seven hits over 7.0 innings.
- May 3 (L, 0-3): Dropped a 4-3 decision to Jeff Niemann and the Tampa Bay Rays, falling to 0-3; allowed four earned runs on seven in 6.1 innings; struck out five and walked two, throwing 107 pitches, 66 for strikes.
- May 8 (L, 0-4): Fell to Justin Verlander and Tigers 6-4 at Safeco Field; raked for five earned runs on eight hits in 5.0 innings; struck out six, walked two; threw 113 pitches, 68 for strikes.
- May 13 (W, 1-4): Won his first game as a Mariner by beating New York; allowed just one earned run on three hits over 7.0 innings; struck out six, walked four; threw 90 pitches, 55 for strikes.
- May 18 (W, 2-4): At Coors Field, threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout over the Rockies, becoming just the ninth opposing pitcher to blank the Rockies at Coors with two or fewer hits; first complete game in nine years.
- May 23 (W, 3-4): At Safeco Field, defeated Texas 5-3; did not allow a run and only three hits in 6.0 innings, his third consecutive victory after starting out 0-4; struck out two, walked one.
RANGERS: LHP Matt Harrison (5-3, 4.72 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
The 26-year-old Harrison, in his fifth major league season, all with the Rangers, will be making his 10th start and second against the Mariners. Harrison is coming off a 3-1 win over Seattle May 22 at Safeco Field.
A native of Durham, NC., the 6-4, 240-pound Harrison was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2003 amateur draft.
Harrison pitched in the Atlanta system until July 31, 2007, when the Braves traded him with Beau Jones (minors), Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Rangers for Ron Mahay and Mark Teixeira.
Harrison made his major league debut July 8, 2008, defeating the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 at the Ballpark in Arlington; allowed two runs on five hits over 7.0 innings. Harrison made 14 starts after his debut, finishing with a 9-3 record and 5.49 ERA.
He went 4-5 in 11 starts in 2009, 3-2 as primarily a reliever in 2009 and a career-best 14-9, 3.39 in 30 starts in 2011. Harrison has three complete games and two shutouts, and has a career record of 35-22, 4.52 ERA.
- 2012: Harrison won his first three decisions, lost his next two, and has two wins and a loss in his last three. He has pitched into the seventh inning six times. He had his best start April 8 against the White Sox: did not allow a run and only four hits in six innings. Harrison got shelled twice, allowing seven earned runs vs. Tampa Bay April 27 and eight at Toronto May 2.
- LAST START: May 22 at Safeco Field, defeated the Mariners 3-1; allowed one earned run on eight hits over 7.0 innings; struck out six, walked two; only run against him was earned.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: May 22 at Safeco Field needed only 14 pitches to record four outs on Dustin Ackley and nine pitches to retire Casper Wells three times.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 7-1, 2.54 ERA in 14 games, including 10 starts, covering 71.0 innings; has 47 strikeouts vs. 16 walks; has allowed one home run.
- AT RANGERS BALLPARK: 16-12, 4.77 ERA in 55 games, including 37 starts, covering 235.2 innings, has 128 strikeouts to 74 walks; has allowed 24 home runs.
- LOVES TO FACE: Dustin Ackley (0-for-15, .000 BA, 3 Ks), Miguel Olivo (0-for-14, .000 BA, 4 K’s), Mike Carp (0-for-10, .000 BA, 3 Ks).
- HATES TO FACE: Brendan Ryan (2-for-3, .667 BA), Alex Liddi (2-for-6, .333 BA), Chone Figgins (4-for-14, .286 BA).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. HARRISON: 30-for-154, .195 BA, 0 HRs, 29 strikeouts.
AL WEST STANDINGS
MARINERS / STATS NOTES
- CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three at Texas Monday-Wednesday, three at Chicago White Sox Friday-Sunday, three at Los Angeles Angels June 4-6.
- MARINERS VS. RANGERS: Mariners 261-267 all-time vs. Rangers, including 67-88 at Rangers Ballpark. Mariners and Rangers have played two series in 2012: Rangers took three of four April 9-12 in Arlington, Mariners took two of three at Safeco May 21-23. Texas leads this year’s series 4-3. Mariners lost the 2011 season series 15-4 and haven’t beaten the Rangers in a season series since 2007. Mariners have not swept a three-game series from the Rangers in Texas since 2001. Rangers last swept Seattle in Texas Sept. 21-23, 2011.
- LATEST: Seattle went 2-5 on just-completed seven-game home stand . . . Mariners 10 games behind Texas, their largest deficit of the season . . . Mariners suffered their first sweep by the Angels in Seattle since April 25-28, 1985 . . . Hector Noesi went 8.0 innings allowing three runs, his fifth quality start of the season. In last five starts, Noesi has limited opponents to a .177 batting average. Noesi has pitched eight innings three times this season. Has tossed at least 7.0 innings in four of past five starts . . . Justin Smoak went 2-for-4 with an RBI and stolen base Sunday. He is hitting .317 over his past 15 games with 11 RBIs . . . Mariners went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position Sunday (also four LOB). During the series, the Mariners went 4-for-32 (.125) with runners in scoring position . . . Mariners CF Franklin Gutierrez is being sent to Arizona Monday to start his rehab from a torn right pectoral muscle suffered in spring training. It’s expected he will move along to Triple-A Tacoma before returning.
- SEASON SUMMARY: Series Record: Won 7, Split 0, Lost 9 . . . Sweeps: 2; Swept: 3 . . . Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27, May 18-21); Longest Losing Streak: 7 (April 28-May 4) . . . Vs. Divisions: vs. AL East: 2-10; vs. AL Central: 8-9; vs. AL West: 8-10; vs NL West: 3-0 . . . Biggest Lead: 1.0, April 7; Farthest Behind: 10.0, May 27 . . . Most Runs Scored: 10, May 19 at Colorado; Most Runs Allowed: 11, April 9 at Texas . . . Walk-Off Wins: 1, May 7, first since Sept. 14, 2011 vs. New York, and first via a sacrifice fly (John Jaso) since Sept. 14, 2007 vs. Tampa Bay (Jose Guillen); Walk-Off Losses: 1, May 17, at Cleveland, Carlos Santana bases-loaded single off League in 11th . . . Times Opponent Shut out: 3; Times Shut out by Opponent: 6; Comeback Wins: 3; Largest Comeback: 3; Blown Leads: 16; Largest Comeback: 3.
- BATTING: Mariners rank 10th (AL) in runs (185), 13th in hits (377), ninth in doubles (79), second in triples (10) and 10th in home runs (41) . . . Rank 13th in batting average (.226), 13th in on-base percentage (.288), 13th in slugging (.360) and 13th in OPS (.648) . . . batting 88-for-405 (.217) with runners in scoring position after going 1-for-8 Sunday . . . out-homered 55-41 . . . left 302 men on base, opponents 299 . . .scored 185 runs, opponents 195 . . . scored 100 of 183 runs in the first four innings . . . Mariners 18-7 when scoring 4+ runs . . . Mariners have homered in 20 of last 33 games . . . batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th).
- BATTING EXTRA: Longest Hitting Streak: Dustin Ackley, 13 games, May 3-17 . . . Four-Hit Games: Ichiro, March 28 vs. Oakland; Justin Smoak, April 17 vs. Cleveland; Jesus Montero, May 1 at Tampa . . . Grand Slams: Michael Saunders, April 27 at Toronto; Alex Liddi, May 23 vs. Texas . . . Back-To-Back Home Runs: Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak, 3rd inning, May 20, at Colorado . . . Notable: Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning April 17 marked the 50,000th hit in Mariners’ history; 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.
- PITCHING: Mariners rank sixth in ERA (3.90), fifth in hits allowed (393), seventh in runs allowed (201), 11th in home runs allowed (55), fifth in walks (139), eighth in strikeouts (351) . . . Felix Hernandez has 17 career no-decisions while throwing 7.0 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs . . . Nominal closer Brandon League is 0-4 with nine saves and four blown saves.
- ICHIRO (0-for-4 Saturday) has 768 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 97th on career hits list (2,483) and needs seven to tie No. 96 Fred McGriff . . . 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: The Mariners will play three games in the next three days. Their next day off is Thursday . . . Mariners have two more bobblehead nights: 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: George Sherrill (15-day, April 13, strained flexor bundle), Franklin Gutierrez (15-day, March 28, torn pectoral muscle; plantar fascitis), Adam Moore (15-day, March 28, fractured wrist).
- EX-MARINERS VS. CURRENT MARINERS: April 19, Jack Hannahan, Indians, 2-run single in ninth off Brandon League in Tribe’s 2-1 win; April 28, Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays, one earned run over 7.0 innings in 7-0 win; May 11, Raul Ibanez, Yankees, 3-run homer off Felix Hernandez in 6-2 win; May 12, Raul Ibanez, Yankees, solo homer off Hector Noesi in 6-2 win; May 15, David Ortiz, Red Sox, solo homer off Blake Beavan in 5-0 Red Sox win; May 16, Shin-Soo Choo (3), Asdrubal Cabrera (2) and Jose Lopez (1) combine for 6 hits in 9-3 Cleveland win; May 17, Casey Kotchman (2), Cabrera (2), Jose Lopez (1), Choo (1) six of Cleveland’s 10 hits, plus 5 RBIs, in a 6-5 win.
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.
- May 5: Combined one-hitter by Felix Hernandez and Steve Delabar vs. Minnesota 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, 2011. Most recent by one pitcher: Jarrod Washburn, July 6, 2009.
- May 9: When John Jaso batted leadoff against Detroit, it marked the first time since 1978 that a catcher had hit first for the Marines (Bob Stinson). Oddly, lefty Jaso led off against Tiger lefty Drew Smyly.
- May 8: Kevin Millwood’s 2-0 shutout marked his first in nearly nine years. He did not surrender his first hit until there were two outs in the sixth. Millwood’s gem marked only the fourth time in 1,440 games at Coors Field that an opposing pitcher held the Rockies to two hits or less while shutting them out. Millwood’s complete game also was the first by a Mariner in 2012.
- May 27: The pinch-hit grand slam allowed by Felix Hernandez to Alberto Callaspo marked just the sixth against the Mariners in 35 years, and the first since May 6, 1988 when Pat Sheridan of Detroit hit one off Mike Jackson.
MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN
|Rec.||Home||Road||Day||Night||vs. RHP||vs. LHP||Hit HR||No HR|
MARINERS BATTING PROFILE
MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE
|5/28||Mon||at Tex||Kevin Millwood (3-4, 3.72) vs. Matt Harrison (5-3, 4.72)|
|5/29||Tue||at Tex||Jason Vargas (5-4, 3.39) vs. Scott Feldman (0-2, 4.66)|
|5/30||Wed||at Tex||Blake Beavan (2-4, 4.38) vs. Derek Holland (4-3, 4.05)|
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)|
|30||5/6||vs. Min||W, 5-2||13-17||W: Noesi (2-3): L: Blackburn (0-4)|
|31||5/7||vs. Det||W, 3-2||14-17||W: Delabar (1-0); L: Dotel (1-1)|
|32||5/8||vs. Det||L, 6-4||14-18||W: Verlander (3-1); L: Millwood (0-4)|
|33||5/9||vs. Det||W, 2-1||15-18||W: Vargas (4-2); L: Putkoen (0-1)|
|34||5/11||at NYY||L, 6-2||15-19||W: Kuroda (3-4); L: Hernandez (3-2)|
|35||5/12||at NYY||L, 6-2||15-20||W: Hughes (3-4); L: Noesi (2-4)|
|36||5/13||at NYY||W, 6-2||16-20||W: Millwood (1-4); L: Pettitte (0-1)|
|37||5/14||at Bos||L, 6-1||16-21||L: Lester (2-3); L: Vargas (4-3)|
|38||5/15||at Bos||L, 5-0||16-22||W: Beckett (3-4); L: Beavan (1-4)|
|39||5/16||at Cle||L, 9-3||16-23||W: Jimenez (4-3): L: Hernandez (3-3)|
|40||5/17||at Cle||L, 6-5||16-24||W: Smith (4-1); L: League (0-3)|
|41||5/18||at Col||W, 4-0||17-24||W: Millwood (2-4); L: White (0-3)|
|42||5/19||at Col||W, 10-3||18-24||W: Vargas (5-3); L: Friedrich (1-1)|
|43||5/20||at Col||W, 6-4||19-24||W: Beavan (2-4); L: Guthrie (2-2)|
|44||5/21||vs. Tex||W, 6-1||20-24||W: Hernandez (4-3); L: Darvish (6-2)|
|45||5/22||vs. Tex||L, 3-1||20-25||W: Harrison (5-3): L: Noesi (2-5)|
|46||5/23||vs. Tex||W, 5-3||21-25||W: Millwood (3-4); L: Feldman (0-2)|
|47||5/24||vs. LAA||L, 3-0||21-26||W: Haren (2-5); L: Vargas (5-4)|
|48||5/25||vs. LAA||L, 6-4||21-27||W: Isringhausen (1-0); L: League (0-4)|
|49||5/26||vs. LAA||L, 5-3||21-28||W: Williams (5-2); L: Hernandez (4-4)|
|50||5/27||vs. LAA||L, 4-2||21-29||W: Wilson (5-4); L: Noesi (2-6)|