GAME: Mariners (22-30, 4th, AL West, -10.0 GB) at Padres (23-28, 4th, NL West, -6.5 GB) GAME #: 53. SERIES: 1st of 2 games. MEETING: 3rd (series tied 1-1). WHEN: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m., Petco Park. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Padres W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Seattle’s No. 3 starter, Joe Saunders, has called the disparity between his home and road records — 3-1, 2.45 ERA at Safeco, 0-4, 11.25 away from it — a “fluke.” Saunders will get another opportunity to show that what he calls a fluke really isn’t a trend when the Mariners and San Diego Padres play the first of two at Petco Park Wednesday.
Saunders has a decent record in San Diego, sporting a 2-2 mark with a 2.86 ERA in five career starts, and he has held current Padres hitters to a .305 on-base percentage. But in order to have any chance Wednesday, he’ll have to get better run support than Brandon Maurer received Tuesday, when Seattle lost 6-1 victory to end a two-game winning streak.
The Mariners Wednesday will face Eric Stults, a pitcher they have never seen. Stults began his career in the Dodgers organization and has also pitched for the Rockies and White Sox. A closer look:
MARINERS: LHP Joe Saunders (3-5, 6.09 ERA, 1.64 WHIP)
The 31-year-old Saunders, a Fairfax, VA., native in his ninth major league season and first with Seattle, will make his 11th start and first against the Padres. Saunders had the veneer of invincibility at home stripped away by losing his last start at Safeco Field, and now heads back on the road where he’s 0-4, 11.25 ERA. Saunders has allowed 30 of his 39 earned runs away from Safeco Field.
- LAST START: May 24 at Safeco Field, lost to Texas 9-5; 6 earned runs on 8 hits in 5.0 innings; 7 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 home runs, 95 pitches, 56 for strikes.
- LAST VS. PADRES: April 11, 2012, pitching for Arizona, took a no-decision in the D-Backs’ 2-1 loss; 0 earned runs on 4 hits in 7.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 102 pitches, 57 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. PADRES: 5-3, 2.67 ERA in 9 starts covering 64.0 innings; 27 strikeouts, 14 walks, 7 home runs, 1.14 WHIP.
- AT PETCO PARK: 2-2, 2.86 ERA in 5 starts covering 34.2 innings; 15 strikeouts, 11 walks, 4 home runs, 1.18 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Carlos Quentin (0-for-6, .000), Logan Forsythe (1-for-7, .143), Cameron Maybin (2-for-14, .143).
- HATES TO FACE: Everth Cabrera (2-for-3, .667), Chase Headley (7-for-19, .368), Will Venable (1-for-3, .333).
- CURRENT PADRES VS. SAUNDERS: 27-for-108, .250 BA, 10 strikeouts, 9 walks, 1 home run, .305 on-base percentage.
PADRES: LHP Eric Stults (4-4, 4.22 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
The 33-year-old Stults, a Plymouth, IN., native in his seventh major league season and second with San Diego, will make his 11th start and first against the Mariners. Stults has alternated wins and losses all season. He pitched his best game May 18 against Washington, holding the Nationals to one earned run on four hits in 8.0 innings. He’s worked into the seventh inning five times.
- LAST START: May 24 at Arizona, lost 5-2; 4 earned runs on 6 hits in 6.1 innings; 2 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 94 pitches, 61 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Never faced.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: No record.
- AT PETCO PARK: 6-2, 3.74 ERA in 11 starts covering 65.0 innings; 44 strikeouts, 18 walks, 8 home runs, 1.26 WHIP.
- LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Stults has faced one current Mariner, Endy Chavez, who is 1-for-3 (.333).
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Two at San Diego (Wednesday-Thursday) and three at Minnesota (Friday-Sunday). The Mariners are amid 20 games in 20 days with their next day off June 13.
- Kendrys Morales extended his hitting streak to eight games and is batting .472 over the stretch. Morales has registered a hit in 19 of his past 22 games, batting .356 over the span.
- Nick Franklin, summoned from Tacoma two days ago, made his first major league start Tuesday. He went 0-for-4 but reached on a fielder’s choice.
- Brendan Ryan had his six-game hitting streak snapped. During the streak, he hit .409. Ryan has hit in 11 of his past 13.
- The Padres are 7-3 in their past 10 games in Seattle.
|5/29||Wed||at SD||LHP Joe Saunders (3-5) vs. LHP Eric Stults (4-4)|
|5/30||Thr||at SD||RHP Felix Hernandez (5-3) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (3-2)|
|5/31||Fri||at Minn||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-5)|
|6/1||Sat||at Minn||RHP Aaron Harang (2-5) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (5-4)|
|6/2||Sun||at Minn||RHP Brandon Maurer (2-6) vs. LHP Scott Diamond (3-4)|
|6/3||Mon||vs. CWS||LHP Joe Saunders (3-5) vs. LHP John Danks (0-0)|
|6/4||Tue||vs. CWS||RHP Felix Hernandez (5-4) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (6-2)|
|6/5||Wed||vs. CWS||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-3)|