GAME: Mariners (32-41, 4th, AL West, -10.5 GB) at Angels (32-40, 3rd, AL West, -10.0 GB). GAME #: 74. SERIES: 4th of 4 games. MEETING: 10th (Angels lead 5-4). WHEN: Thursday, 7:05 p.m., Angels Stadium. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Angels W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
If the 2013 season continues to play out as it has so far, the American League West is a battle between Oakland and Texas for first place, and Seattle and the L.A. Angels for third. The surprise is that the Mariners even have a shot at third, when they were widely figured as a lock for fourth, ahead of only the feeble Houston Astros.
After Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, their sixth blanking of the season, the Mariners find themselves back in fourth, victimized by one of the most feeble offenses in the majors. Seattle scratched out just two hits Wednesday and have now been outscored 33-7 in five games at Angels Stadium.
Joe Saunders, whose unfortunate wild pitch cost Seattle the game Wednesday, will be followed Thursday by ace Felix Hernandez, who defeated the Angels in his only start against them this season. But that’s misleading. In his career against the Halos, Hernandeza is just 7-12 with a 3.96 ERA. Last year, Hernandez wnt 0-3 with a 6.25 ERA in five starts against the Angels.
Hernandez, 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 29 strikeouts in his past four outings, will be opposed by Tommy Hanson, who hasn’t taken a look at a Seattle ball club since 2011 when he pitched for Atlanta. A closer look:
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (8-4, 2.32 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with Seattle, will make his 16th start and second against the Angels. Hernandez, who defeated the Angels 3-2 April 27, has won three of his past four outings, during which he has allowed only six earned runs, including one in his past two games. Hernandez has 110 strikeouts this season vs. just 20 walks.
- LAST START: June 15 at Oakland, won 4-0; 0 earned runs on 5 hits in 7.0 innings; 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 108 pitches, 68 for strikes.
- LAST VS. ANGELS: April 27, won 3-2; 1 earned run on 5 hits in 8.0 innings; 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 home run, 95 pitches, 66 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. ANGELS: 7-12, 2.74 ERA in 28 starts covering 200.1 innings; 195 strikeouts, 43 walks, 12 home runs; 1.27 WHIP.
- AT ANGELS STADIUM: 2-5, 3.20 ERA in 15 starts covering 107.0 innings; 92 strikeouts, 22 walks, 11 home runs; 1.09 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Chris Iannetta (1-for-11, .091), Peter Bourjos (3-for-18, .167), Josh Hamilton (8-for-51, .157).
- HATES TO FACE: Mike Trout (11-for-27, .407), Mark Trumbo (9-for-30, .300), Brendan Harris (2-for-8, .250).
- CURRENT ANGELS VS. HERNANDEZ: 77-for-328, .235 BA, 76 strikeouts, 22 walks, 8 home runs, .285 on-base percentage.
ANGELS: RHP Tommy Hanson (4-2, 3.94 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)
The 26-year-old Hanson, a Tulsa, OK., native in his fifth major league season and first with the Angels, will make his ninth start and first against the Mariners. Hanson missed most of May with an injury but has won two of his past three starts, including a 6-2 win over the Yankees in his last outing. He features an impressive fastball and biting curve.
- LAST START: June 15, defeated the Yankees 6-2; 2 earned runs on 5 hits in 6.1 innings; 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 84 pitches, 54 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: June 28, 2011, pitching for Atlanta, won 5-4; 3 earned runs on 6 hits in 6.0 innings; 8 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 home runs, 97 pitches, 59 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 1-0, 4.50 ERA in 1 start covering 6.0 innings; 9 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 home runs; 1.50 WHIP.
- AT ANGELS STADIUM: 2-2, 4.67 ERA in 6 starts covering 34.2 innings; 24 strikeouts, 14 walks, 5 home runs, 1.52 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Justin Smoak (0-for-3, .000), Jason Bay (3-for-14, .214), Raul Ibanez (4-for-18, .222).
- HATES TO FACE: Brendan Ryan (3-for-5, .600), Michael Morse (5-for-13, .385).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. HANSON: 15-for-57, .263 BA, 13 strikeouts, 6 walks, 3 home runs, .328 BA.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three at Oakland (Friday-Sunday), four at L.A. Angels (Monday-Thursday). Following the road trip, the Mariners will return to Safeco Field for a three-game series with the Athletics June 21-23. Seattle’s next home stand also features visits by the Pittsburgh Pirates (June 25-26) and Chicago Cubs (June 28-30).
- Wednesday’s hard-luck loser, Joe Saunders, pitched his ninth complete game Wednesday in 204 career starts, but came away with a 1-0 loss because of a wild pitch in the sixth inning.
- The Mariners have been outscored 33-7 in five games at Angels Stadium this season.
- Manager Eric Wedge gave 1B Justin Smoak Wednesday off and went with Michael Morse at first base and Kendrys Morales at designated hitter.
- The Mariners announced Wednesday that 15 more players from the June free agent draft have agreed to contracts. The club has now signed 28 of its 40 selections.
|6/20||Thr||at LAA||RHP Felix Hernandez (8-4) vs. RHP Tommy Hanson (4-2)|
|6/21||Fri||vs. Oak||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-2) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (9-2)|
|6/22||Sat||vs. Oak||RHP Aaron Harang (3-7) vs. RHP Dan Straily (4-2)|
|6/23||Sun||vs. Oak||RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) vs. RHP Jarrod Parker (6-6)|