GAME: Mariners (2-2, 3rd, AL West, -0.5 GB) at White Sox (2-1, T2, AL Central, -0.5 GB). GAME #: 5. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING: 1st (White Sox won 2012 series 8-1). WHEN: Friday, 5:10 p.m., U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago. STREAKS: Mariners L 2; White Sox L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Blake Beavan, Seattle’s No. 5 starter, didn’t have much of a spring, allowing 14 runs in 19.1 innings. But he had a strong second half in 2012, posting an 8-5 record with a 3.40 ERA in his final 14 outings following a midseason demotion to AAA Tacoma. Beavan’s goal now: build on that.
“I want to continue what I did in the second half last year,” Beavan said. “The second half is the pitcher I am. know I can do that again. It’s not rocket science. I figured out a lot of stuff when I got sent down and brought back up. A lot of it was confidence, trusting stuff. It’s not a fluke for me. I know I’m capable of doing that. I know I’m capable of repeating and being consistent all year long. Now, I just need to go do it.”
Too bad Beavan has to “go do it” Friday at U.S. Cellular Field, where the Mariners begin a three-game, weekend series, and where they have experienced nothing but pain over the past five years. The Mariners lost five of the six games they played at U.S. Cellular last year, and are 3-19 in the Windy City since 2008.
Beavan received one start at U.S. Cellular in 2012 and got beat 5-4 after allowing four earned runs in 5.0 innings. He also lost to the White Sox at Safeco Field 4-0 in his third start of the season.
Beavan has an interesting opposite Friday in Jose Quintana. He created a few waves last year when he posted a 2.04 ERA in his 10 appearances (eight starts) before the All-Star break. But after the break, Quintana ran out of gas and finished with a 5.01 ERA in the second half.
“I want to get back to where I was in the first half last year,” Quintana said.
MARINERS: RHP Blake Beavan (11-11, 4.43 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
The 6-foot-7 Beavan, who broke into the Mariners rotation last year and wound up making 11 starts after a four-start stint with the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, couldn’t have ended 2012 on a better note. On Oct 3, in the final regular-season game, he didn’t allow a run over 7.0 innings and was the winning pitcher in a 12-0 rout of the Angels. But he struggled to stick in the rotation during the spring, going 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA, and barely eked out the No. 5 job in the rotation. Beavan doesn’t overpower anybody, but relies on fastball command and keeping runners off base with one of the lowest walk rates in baseball.
- LAST START: Oct. 3, 2012 vs. L.A. Angels, won 12-0; allowed 7 hits over 8.0 innings in running season record to 11-11; 0 strikeouts, 1 walk, 99 pitches, 71 for strikes.
- LAST VS. WHITE SOX: Aug. 25, 2012, lost 5-4, evening record at 8-8; 4 earned runs on 7 hits in 5.0 innings; 2 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 home run; 79 pitches, 52 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. WHITE SOX: 0-2, 5.73 ERA in 2 starts covering 11.0 innings; 3 strikeouts to 4 walks, 2 home runs, 1.63 WHIP.
- AT U.S. CELLULAR FIELD: 0-1, 7.20 ERA in 1 start covering 5.0 innings; 2 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 home run1.50 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Adam Dunn (0-for-6, .000), Jeff Keppinger (1-for-6, .167), Alexei Ramirez (1-for-6, .167).
- HATES TO FACE: Paul Konerko (4-for-5, .800), Alex Rios (2-for-5, .400), Dewayne Wise (1-for-3, .333).
- CURRENT WHITE SOX VS. BEAVAN: 13-for-47, .277 BA, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 home runs, .333 on-base percentage.
WHITE SOX: LHP Jose Quintana (6-6, 3.76 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)
A 24-year-old native of Arjona, Colombia, Quintana originally signed with the New York Mets as an amateur free agent in 2006. He later spent a year in the Yankees’ system and signed with the White Sox as a free agent Nov. 9, 2011. After making his major league debut May 7, 2012 against Cleveland, Quintana piled up a ton of no-decisions but had a 5-3 record entering September. He lost three of his six starts to finish 6-6, marring an otherwise breakout campaign for the lefty. Quintana put in extra offseason work to strengthen his legs and get even better prepared for the full-season run.
- LAST START: Sept. 30, 2012 vs. Tampa Bay, lost 6-2; 4 earned runs on 6 hits in 4.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 home runs; 85 pitches, 46 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 25, took a no-decision in Chicago’s 5-4 victory at U.S. Cellular Field; 3 earned runs on 5 hits in 5.2 innings; 4 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 one run; 112 pitches, 66 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 0-0, 4.26 ERA in 2 games, including 1 start, covering 6.1 innings; 4 strikeouts to 4 walks, 1 home run; 1.42 WHIP.
- AT U.S. CELLULAR FIELD: 3-4, 4.13 ERA in 13 games, including 11 starts, covering 65.1 innings; 42 strikeouts to 21 walks, 8 home runs; 1.30 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Brendan Ryan (0-for-3, .000), Kelly Shoppach (0-for-3, .000 BA), Michael Saunders (0-for-1, .000).
- HATES TO FACE: Justin Smoak (1-for-2, .500), Dustin Ackley (1-for-3, .333), Justin Smoak (1-for-3, .333).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. QUINTANA: 4-for-20, .200 BA, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 home run, .238 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Four at Oakland (Monday-Wednesday), three at Chicago White Sox (Friday-Sunday).
- UPCOMING HOME STAND: Three vs. Houston (Monday-Wednesday), four vs. Texas (Thursday-Sunday), three vs. Detroit (April 16-18).
- Through four games, Michael Morse has four home runs and is just the second player in franchise history with four homers in the first contests of the season. Ken Griffey Jr., opened the 1997 season with four in four games en route to an AL high of 56.
- Morse, who went 2-for-4 against Oakland Thursday, is hitting .375 with six RBIs.
- Two players looking to rebound from sub-par seasons, Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak, continue to struggle. Although both got hits in the final game of the Oakland series, Ackley will enter the Chicago series batting .091 and Smoak .154. Outfielder Michael Saunders, who hit leadoff Thursday, isn’t much better off, batting .200.
- With Kelly Shoppach (2-for-3 with a walk) getting the call at catcher Thursday, every Mariner position player has received at least one start.
- The Pacific Coast League announced Thursday that former Mariners star Edgar Martinez is one of three players who will be inducted into the PCL Hall of Fame in its 2013 class. Martinez hit .344 in four years with Calgary in the PCL from 1985-89, including .363 in 1988. The other two inductees are Sandy Alomar Jr. and George Metkovich.
|4/6||Sat||at CWS||RHP Felix Hernandez (1-0) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (2-2 in ’12)|
|4/7||Sun||at CWS||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (1-0) vs. LHP Chris Sale (1-0)|