GAME: Red Sox (54-37, 1st, AL East, +3.5 GA) at Mariners (40-49, 4th, AL West, -12.5 GB). GAME #: 90. SERIES: 2nd of 4 games. MEETING: 2nd (Mariners lead 1-0). WHEN: Tuesday, 7:10 a.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 2; Red Sox L 3. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
The Mariners have traded multiple players who developed into All-Stars for other clubs, but only three apt to become members of the Hall of Fame. The stories behind the Ken Griffey Jr. (1999) and Randy Johnson (1998) swaps to Cincinnati and Houston, respectively, are well documented, the tale of David Arias less so.
On Sept. 19, 1996, the Mariners sent Arias, then playing for their Class A affiliate in Wisconsin (Timber Rattlers), to Minnesota to complete a deal they made Aug. 29 to acquire third baseman Dave Hollins. The Mariners figured Hollins was the bat they needed for a pennant push.
Hollins didn’t disappoint. In 28 games, he hit .351 and drove in 25 runs, but his contribution couldn’t get the Mariners into the playoffs. Following the 1996 season, Hollins signed as a free agent with the Angels. A year later, Arias made his major league debut with the Twins.
Changing his name to David Ortiz, he developed into “Big Papi” and hit 418 home runs (17 this season) and made nine All-Star teams since, making Arias/Ortiz for rent-a-player Hollins the closest equivalent to “my kingdom for a horse” in Mariners history.
Seattle’s Tuesday night starter, Hisashi Iwakuma, a newly minted All-Star, has not yet faced Ortiz or the Red Sox, who were steamrolled by the Mariners Monday night 11-4 in the first game of a four-game series at Safeco Field. Seattle produced a Red Sox-like 15 hits, including Raul Ibanez’s 22nd homer, a rare, three-hit game by Justin Smoak, three RBIs by Michael Saunders and another quality start by Felix Hernandez (9-4).
Compared to his torrid start (7-1, 1.79), Iwakuma has been out of sorts for three weeks. He’ll oppose Allen Webster, who will be making his sixth major league start and first against Seattle.
Again — for the ninth time — the Mariners have a chance to win three in a row, a feat that has eluded them since May 1-4.
MARINERS: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4, 2.60 ERA, 0.88 WHIP)
The 32-year-old Iwakuma, a Tokyo native in his second major league season, both with Seattle, will make his 19th start and first against the Red Sox. Iwakuma has allowed four runs in each of his last four outings, going 0-3 with a 5.76 ERA in that span to take some of the luster off an outstanding start (7-1, 1.70). He’s been dominant at Safeco Field (3-1, 1.84 ERA in nine starts).
- LAST START: July 4 at Texas, lost 5-4; 4 earned runs on 5 hits in 6.0 innings; 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 home runs, 88 pitches, 54 for strikes.
- LAST VS. RED SOX: Never pitched.
- CAREER VS. RED SOX: No record.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 9-4, 2.19 ERA in 26 games, including 19 starts, covering 139.2 innings; 124 strikeouts, 29 walks, 15 home runs, 0.93 WHIP.
- LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Iwakuma has faced two members of the Red Sox roster. Stephen Drew is the only one to get a hit (1-for-2, .500).
- CURRENT RED SOX VS. IWAKUMA: 1-for-2, .500 BA, 0 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, .667 on-base percentage.
RED SOX: RHP Allen Webster (1-2, 7.88 ERA, 1.75 WHIP)
The 23-year-old Webster, a Greensboro, NC., native in his first major league season, will make his sixth start and first against the Mariners. Webster spent part of April and May with the Red Sox, then was shipped out to AAA Pawtucket to mull over his 11.74 ERA. When he returned June 22, he was knocked around for five earned runs. But he won his past two and appears to have righted himself.
- LAST START: July 4 vs. San Diego, won 8-2; 2 earned runs on 5 hits in 6.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 4 walks, 0 home runs, 97 pitches, 54 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Never pitched.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: No record.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: Never pitched.
- LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Webster has never faced a member of the Seattle roster.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Four vs. Boston (Monday-Thursday), three vs. the Los Angeles Angels (Friday-Sunday).
- The Mariners are 22-22 at home and 5-2 in their past seven.
- The Mariners hit a home run in 16 consecutive games dating to June 20 (27 homers during the span).
- Felix Hernandez (9-4) has nqine wins before the All-Star break for the second time in his career (also 2009). uality start was his 14th of the season. Allowed two or fewer runs for the 13th time in 19 starts.
- Raul Ibanez extended his hitting streak to 13 games, matching the second longest of his career. The home run Monday was his 22nd, most by a 41-year-old before the All-Star break in major league history. Ibanez needs eight more to surpass the 1960 record of Ted Williams for most in a season by a 41-year-old.
- Kyle Seager, who went 1-for-3, extended his hitting streak to eight games during which he is batting .438.
- The three-RBI game by Michael Saunders was his second of the season (also May 4 at Toronto).
- With Justin Smoak’s double in the fourth, the Mariners snapped a stretch in which they went 0-for-25 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners finished 6-for-15 with RISP, matching a season high.
- The Mariners Monday designated RHP Jeremy Bonderman for assignment and recalled LHP Lucas Luetge from AAA Tacoma. Bonderman, attempting a comeback after two years on the sidelines, allowed 10 earned runs on 12 hits in his past two outings. The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Bonderman’s contract to the minors.
- To replace Bonderman in the rotation, the Mariners will likely either recall Erasmo Ramirez or Brandon Maurer from AAA Tacoma.
|7/9||Tue||vs. Bos||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4) vs. RHP Allen Webster (1-2)|
|7/10||Wed||vs. Bos||RHP Aaron Harang (4-7) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (5-3)|
|7/11||Thr||vs. Bos||TBA vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (5-8)|
|7/12||Fri||vs. LAA||LHP Joe Saunders (7-8) vs. TBA|
|7/13||Sat||vs. LAA||RHP Felix Hernandez (9-4) vs. TBA|
|7/14||Sun||vs. LAA||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4) vs. TBA|