GAME: Mariners (50-55, 3rd, AL West, -12.5 GB) at Red Sox (63-44, 2nd, AL East, -0.5 GB). GAME #: 106. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING: 5th (Red Sox lead 3-1). WHEN: Tuesday, 4:10 p.m., Fenway Park. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Red Sox L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
The Mariners never have been able to get much done at their next stop, Fenway Park in Boston, where they have never swept a series or even won one since 2011. But if Joe Saunders is true to his history (and provided he doesn’t get traded) he will give the Mariners a chance in the first of a three-game set against the Red Sox.
Saunders is 5-2, 4.11 ERA in his career against Boston, which includes a 3-1, 4.60 ledger at Fenway. Whether Saunders can pitch to historical form is anybody’s guess given the nature of seasonal streaks.
Saunders lost his first six road outings before finally winning at Oakland June 14. Overall, Saunders has produced one four-game winning streak and two three-game losing streaks. He’s allowed three or fewer earned runs 10 times but five or more six times.
The last time, July 24 at Safeco Field, ranked among his worst starts, with five earned runs allowed on nine hits in 4.2 innings. Bouncing back against the Red Sox, who are battling with Tampa Bay for the AL East lead, won’t be easy.
Saunders will face RHP Brandon Workman, who has made one appearance against Seattle, that in a relief role July 10 during an 11-4 Boston romp. A closer look:
MARINERS: LHP Joe Saunders (9-9, 4.48 ERA , 1.47 WHIP)
The 32-year-old Saunders, a Fairfax, VA., native in his ninth major league season and first with Seattle, will make his 22nd start and first against the Red Sox. Saunders had a streak of four straight wins snapped in a rough start against the Indians Wednesday when he allowed nine hits and six runs (five earned) in 4.2 innings. He’d gone 4-0 with a 1.73 ERA in his previous four starts.
- LAST START: July 24 vs. Cleveland, lost 10-1; 5 earned runs on 6 hits in 4.2 innings; 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 0 home runs, 104 pitches, 62 for strikes.
- LAST VS. RED SOX: Sept. 30, 2012, pitching for Baltimore, defeated the Red Sox 6-3; 3 earned runs on 8 hits in 7.1 innings; 5 strikeouts, 0 walks, 2 home runs, 90 pitches, 64 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. RED SOX: 5-2, 4.11 ERA in 10 starts covering 61.1 innings; 34 strikeouts, 25 walks, 3 home runs, 1.54 WHIP.
- AT FENWAY PARK: 3-1, 4.60 ERA in 5 starts covering 29.1 innings; 20 strikeouts, 15 walks, 3 home runs, 1.70 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1-for-11, .091), David Ortiz (3-for-20, .150), Jacoby Ellsbury (3-for-17, .176).
- HATES TO FACE: Ryan Lavarnway (2-for-3, .667), Jonny Gomes (7-for-18, .389), Dustin Pedroia (8-for-30, .267).
- CURRENT RED SOX VS. SAUNDERS: 28-for-116, .241 BA, 16 strikeouts, 6 walks, 2 home runs, .285 on-base percentage.
RED SOX: RHP Brandon Workman (0-1, 4.40 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)
The 24-year-old Workman, a Bowie, TX., native in his first major league season, will make his third start and first against the Mariners. Workman, who made his debut July 10, is a product of the University of Texas. The Red Sox selected him in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft. Workman was effective in each of his first two starts, lasting a combined 12.1 innings while giving up four earned runs. He took the loss in his most recent outing, against the Rays, despite giving up just two runs over 6.0 innings.
- LAST START: July 22 vs. Tampa Bay, lost 3-0; 2 earned runs on 7 hits in 6.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 103 pitches, 68 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: July 10, made major league debut working in relief; 2.0 innings, 3 earned runs, 4 hits, 4 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 home run, 47 pitches, 32 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 0-0, 13.50 ERA in 1 appearance covering 2.0 innings; four strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 home run, 2.00 WHIP.
- AT FENWAY PARK: 0-1, 3.00 in 1 start covering 6.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 1.50 WHIP.
- LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Seattle hitters have 10 at-bats against Workman with four hits, by Dustin Ackley, Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak and Brendan Ryan, who hit the home run.
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. WORKMAN: 4-for-10, .400 BA, 4 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 home run, .400 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three at Boston (Tuesday-Thursday), three at Baltimore (Friday-Sunday). The Mariners return to Safeco Field Aug. 5 to begin a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
- With three more home runs Sunday, the Mariners concluded their seven-game home stand with 61 at Safec0 Field, more than the 56 they hit in 81 home dates in 2012.
- Six of Nick Franklin’s 10 home runs have come in July and four of those have accounted for three or more runs.
- Franklin’s 10 homers are tied for third most in the first 52 games of a Seattle career. Alvin Davis had 14 in 1984, Jose Cruz Jr. 12 in 1997. Ken Griffey Jr. 10 in 1989.
- Seattle is the first AL team this season have six players with 10 or more home runs.
- Brad Miller has produced back-to-back multi-hit games for the second time this season.
- In collecting his second win Sunday, Erasmo Ramirez fanned a season-high six batters.
- With a second-inning single Sunday, Raul Ibanez stopped an 0-for-12 slide.
|7/30||Tue||at Bos||LHP Joe Saunders (9-9) vs. RHP Brandon Workman (0-1)|
|7/31||Wed||at Bos||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (10-4) RHP John Lackey (7-8)|
|8/1||Thr||at Bos||RHP Felix Hernandez (11-4) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (6-8)|
|8/2||Fri||at Bal||RHP Aaron Harang (5-9) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (7-8)|
|8/3||Sat||at Bal||RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-0) vs. TBA|
The Ms are not afraid of any damn AL East swath, bring it on.