GAME: Indians (52-47, 2nd, AL Central, -2.5-0 GB) at Mariners (47-52, 3rd, AL West, -11.0 GB). GAME #: 100. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 6th (Indians lead 4-1). WHEN: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 7; Indians L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
It has been a long time — 2009, in fact — since the Mariners last produced a decent record (15-10) in the month of July. Back then, with Russell Branyan banging (31 homers), Ichiro at the apex of his slap-hitting prowess and Felix Hernandez en route to a career-high 19 wins, the Mariners won 15 times in 31 days. The surge helped Seattle to a 85-77 record, its last winning season.
The Mariners (12-5) are enjoying their best July since, a better one than July 2009. Through their first 16 games this month, the Mariners, jumping over the Angels into third place in the AL West, led the majors in runs scored (102), slugging percentage (.487), OPS (.844), home runs (27), extra-base hits (61) and runs per game (6.38).
Seattle didn’t do a whole lot to add to those numbers Monday night at Safeco Field, squeaking out a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians behind solo homers from Kendrys Morales and Mike Zunino and seven effective innings from Aaron Harang.
But the Mariners extended their winning streak to seven games, longest in the majors, and moved to within five games of .500 for the first time since May 20.
To match the longest winning streak since late August 2012, the Mariners will entrust Erasmo Ramirez with the ball Tuesday in a milestone marker on the calendar — Game #100. Ramirez, shelled in his first outing nearly two weeks ago, will oppose Zach McAllister, just coming off the disabled list. A closer look:
MARINERS: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (0-0, 13.50 ERA, 2.14 WHIP)
The 23-year-old Ramirez, a Nicaragua native in his second major league season, both with Seattle, will make his second start and first against Cleveland. Ramirez missed the first three months with an elbow issue and, in his return to the majors, lasted just 4.2 frames with a no-decision against Boston. Over the All-Star break, Ramirez pitched a game at A Everett in order to maintain his routine.
- LAST START: July 11 vs. Boston, took a no-decision in an 8-7 loss at Safeco Field; 7 earned runs on 6 hits in 4.2 innings; 4 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 home run, 101 pitches, 54 for strikes.
- LAST VS. INDIANS: April 17, 2012, working in relief, did not factor in the decision in Seattle’s 5-3 loss; 1 earned run, 1 hit in 0.2 innings; 0 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 26 pitches, 12 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. INDIANS: 0-0, 13.50 ERA in 1 appearance covering 0.2 innings; 0 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 4.50 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 0-2, 4.28 ERA in 8 games, including five starts, covering 33.2 innings; 28 strikeouts, 8 walks, 2 home runs, 0.92 WHIP.
- LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Only two current of the Indians have faced Ramirez. Neither Mike Aviles nor Mark Reynolds has a hit.
- CURRENT INDIANS VS. RAMIREZ: 0-for-3, .000 BA, 1 strikeout, 0 walks, 0 home runs, .000 on-base percentage.
INDIANS: RHP Zach McAllister (4-5, 3.43 ERA,
The 25-year-old McAllister, a Chillicothe, IL., native in his third major league season, all with Cleveland, will make his 12th start and second against the Mariners. This is McAllister’s first outing since June 2, as a right middle finger sprain kept him on the DL for more than a month. Thursday, McAllister successfully utilized all his pitches in a quality start for AAA Columbus.
- LAST START: June 2, lost to Tampa Bay 3-1; 4 earned runs on 7 hits in 4.1 innings; 0 strikeouts, 4 walks, 0 home runs, 90 pitches, 50 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: May 18, took a no-decision in Cleveland’s 5-4 win; 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 7.1 innings; 1 strikeout, 1 walk, 1 home run, 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 0-1, 5.64 ERA in 4 starts covering 22.1 innings; 13 strikeouts, 11 walks, 3 home runs, 1.43 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 0-0, 1.50 ERA in 1 starts covering 6.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 home run, 1.00 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Raul Ibanez (0-for-3, .000), Michael Saunders (1-for-6, .667), Justin Smoak (1-for-6, .667).
- HATES TO FACE: Kendrys Morales (2-for-6, .33), Brendan Ryan (2-for-7, .286), Kyle Seager (3-for-11, .273).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. MCALLISTER: 16-for-64, .250 BA, 6 strikeouts, 6 walks, 2 home runs, .314 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Three vs. Cleveland (Monday-Wednesday), four vs. Minnesota (Friday-Monday). The Mariners have a day off Monday, then begin a six-game road series at Boston and Baltimore.
- During their seven-game winning streak, the Mariners outscored their opponents (Angels, Astros, Indians) 46-21. Seattle’s starting pitches have a 1.71 ERA during the streak.
- Aaron Harang is 3-2, 3.40 ERA in his last seven starts, four of them quality starts.
- The Mariners have back-to-back series sweeps. They did not have a sweep in their first 30 series of the season. The sweep at Houston was Seattle’s first on the road against an AL West opponent since April 10-12, 2009, at Oakland.
- The Mariners lead the major leagues in grand slams with five, their most recent coming from Nick Franklin Sunday at Houston.
- Felix Hernandez is 6-0 with a 2.34 ERA over his past 10 starts and has not lost since May 25 vs. Texas.
- The American League named Brad Miller its Player of the Week Monday after Miller hit .385 with two home runs and seven RBIs in a three-game sweep at Houston.
- Outfielder Michael Morse made a rehab start Monday night as the designated hitter for AAA Tacoma. Morse hasn’t played since being placed on the disabled list with a strained right quad June 22, retroactive to June 21.
- OF Franklin Gutierrez will make his first rehab start Tuesday for Tacoma. On the DL sine June 22, Gutierrez has missed at least 50 games each season for the past three years.
|7/23||Tue||vs. Clev||RHP Erasmo Ramirez (0-0) vs. RHP Zach McAllister (4-5)|
|7/24||Wed||vs. Clev||LHP Joe Saunders (9-8) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (5-4)|
|7/25||Thr||vs. Minn||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (9-4) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (7-6)|
|7/26||Fri||vs. Minn||RHP Felix Hernandez (11-4) vs. LHP Scott Diamond (5-9)|
|7/27||Sat||vs. Minn||RHP Aaron Harang (5-8) vs. RHP Samuel Deduno (5-4)|
|7/28||Sun||vs. Minn||RHP Erasmo Ramirez (0-0) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (2-2)|