GAME: Astros (22-44, 5th, AL West, -17.0 GB) at Mariners (29-37, 3rd, AL West, -10.0 GB). GAME #: 67. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING: 9th (series tied 4-4). WHEN: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 2; Astros L 6. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
The Mariners are not very good at winning three games in a row. They last did it between May 1-4 when they beat Baltimore, had a day off, and took a pair from Baltimore. They won three straight only one other time this season (April 27-29), but now have an opportunity Wednesday to sweep the Houston Astros. In the tortured world of Mariners’ baseball, this is a big deal.
Seattle has not swept anybody since beating Cleveland three in a row Aug. 20-22, 2012, a time in which, you may recall, the Seahawks were trying to determine whether Matt Flynn or Russell Wilson would become their starting quarterback.
Not that sweeping the Tribe did the Mariners much good in the grand scheme of things. Nor will sweeping the Astros amount to much, given that Houston is headed for its third straight 100-loss season.
The key issue Wednesday, apart from whether the Mariners can sweep, has to do with Jeremy Bonderman, and whether or not he can follow up on a successful start against the Yankees June 7 with another good outing. Bonderman recorded his first win in nearly three years in that outing and Wednesday’s start against Houston will help answer whether Bonderman can become a contributor to Seattle’s rotation.
Bonderman will oppose Jordan Lyles, who doesn’t have much of a major league resume, including the fact he has never faced Seattle. A closer look:
MARINERS: RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 4.91 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
The 30-year-old Bonderman, a Kennewick, WA., native in his ninth major league season and first with Seattle, will make his third start and first against the Astros. Bonderman faltered badly in his first start June 2, but rebounded for his first major league win in three years in his second, June 7. The Pasco High graduate was originally selected by Detroit in the first round of the 2001 amateur draft.
- LAST START: June 7 vs. New York, won 4-1; 1 earned run on 3 hits in 6.0 innings; 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 97 pitches, 61 for strikes.
- LAST VS. ASTROS: Never faced.
- CAREER VS. ASTROS: No record.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 3-2, 3.66 ERA in 7 starts covering 46.2 innings; 31 strikeouts, 10 walks, 4 home runs, 1.28 WHIP.
- LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Astros hitters have only 12 at-bats against Bonderman and none has more than one hit.
- CURRENT ASTROS VS. HARANG: 2-for-12, .167 BA, 4 strikeouts, 0 walks, 0 home runs, .154 on-base percentage.
ASTROS: RHP Jordan Lyles (3-1, 4.03 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)
The 22-year-old Lyles, a Florence, SC., native in his third major league season, all with Houston, will make his ninth start and first against the Mariners. Lyles has had as many no-decisions (4) as he’s had decisions this season. He had his best performance May 22 against Kansas City when he allowed one earned run on six hits in 6.0 innings. Lyles has pitched into the seventh inning just twice.
- LAST START: June 7 at Kansas City, took a no-decision in a 4-2 loss; 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 7.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 home run, 100 pitches, 61 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Never faced.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: No record.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: Never pitched.
- LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Lyles has face just two members of the current Mariners roster, Endy Chavez (-for-3, .333) and Michael Morse (2-for-7, .286).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. NORRIS: 3-for-10, .300 BA, 2 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 home run, .300 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Three vs. the White Sox (Monday-Wednesday), four vs. the Yankees (Thursday-Sunday), three vs. the Astros (Monday-Wednesday). The Mariners are in the midst of 20 games in 20 days with their next day off June 13.
- Aaron Harang threw his second complete-game shutout of the season Tuesday, beating Houston 4-0. It was the eighth of his career. His 10 strikeouts marked a season high.
- Raul Ibanez’s home run Tuesday was his team-leading 13th of the season and his second in two days. Ibanez has banged 11 homers in his last 26 games.
- Endy Chavez has hit safely in eight of his past nine, batting .333 over that stretch. His two doubles Tuesday marked his first two in a game since Aug. 12, 2011.
- Kyle Seager has hits in 20 of his last 22 games, during which he has batted .319.
- Wednesday’s contest will conclude a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. The Mariners will take Thursday off and open a three-game series at Oakland Friday.
|6/12||Wed||vs. Hou||RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (3-1)|
|6/14||Fri||at Oak||RHP Joe Saunders (4-6) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (6-5)|
|6/15||Sat||at Oak||RHP Felix Hernandez (7-4) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (5-5)|
|6/16||Sun||at Oak||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-1) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (7-2)|