GAME: Mariners (50-56, 3rd, AL West, -12.5 GB) at Red Sox (64-44, 2nd,
AL East, -0.5 GB). GAME #: 107. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 6th (Red Sox lead 4-1). WHEN: Wednesday, 4:10 p.m., Fenway Park. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Red Sox W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Ssince July 1, the Mariners played seven series, compiling a 5-1-1 mark in those sets. The only smear on the ledger came July 8-11 when the Boston Red Sox showed up at Safeco Field and whipped Seattle three out of four. The most deflating defeat came July 9 when the Red Sox battered Hisashi Iwakuma with six earned runs on eight hits in a season-low 3.0 innings.
Iwakuma wound up taking a no-decision, but it tied a nasty bow on a five-game stretch in which Seattle’s No. 2 starter went winless and had a three-game losing streak.
Iwakuma has recovered nicely since that thumping, winning three in a row with five earned runs allowed in his past 20.0 innings. He held Minnesota without a run on four hits in 6.0 innings in his last outing while recording nine strikeouts with one walk.
Iwakuma gets another crack at Boston Wednesday night when the Mariners and Red Sox play the second of three at Fenway Park. Boston romped easily Tuesday, winning 8-2 behind a three-homer onslaught, two off Joe Saunders, who fell to 9-10.
Iwakuma will oppose John Lackey, who did not pitch last year due to Tommy John surgery and hasn’t faced the Mariners since 2011.
MARINERS: RHP Hisashi Iwalkuma (10-4, 2.87 ERA, 0.94 WHIP)
Iwakuma, a 32-year-old Tokyo native in his second major league season, both with Seattle, will make his 23rd start and second against the Red Sox. After five subpar outings, Iwakuma is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA over his last three starts, including six scoreless innings vs. the Twins last Thursday. He’s never pitched at Fenway and his only start against Boston lasted just 3.0 innings with six runs allowed July 9 in Seattle.
- LAST START: July 25 at Safeco Field, defeated Minnesota 8-2; 0 earned runs on 4 hits in 6.0 innings; 9 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 102 pitches, 67 for strikes.
- LAST VS. RED SOX: July 9, took a no-decision in Seattle’s 11-8 loss; 6 earned runs on 8 hits in 3.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 0 walks, 3 home runs, 61 pitches, 44 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. RED SOX: 0-0, 18.00 ERA in 1 start covering 3.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 0 walks, 3 home runs, 2.66 WHIP.
- AT FENWAY PARK: Never pitched.
- LOVES TO FACE: Daniel Nava (0-for-2, .000), Jackie Bradley Jr., (0-for-2, .000), Brock Holt (0-for-1, .000).
- HATES TO FACE: David Ortiz (2-for-2, 1.000), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2-for-2, 1.000), Dustin Pedroia (1-for-2, .500).
- CURRENT RED SOX VS. IWAKUMA: 9-for-19, .474 BA, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk, 3 home runs, .476 on-base percentage.
RED SOX: RHP John Lackey (7-9, 3.19 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
The 34-year-old Lackey, an Abilene, TX., native in his 11th major league season and third with Boston, will make his 19th start and first against the Mariners. Lackey, a long-time L.A. Angel, has dropped two in a row and three of his past four and gave up nine earned runs on 19 hits in the two most recent defeats. Lackey has pitched into the seventh inning in 10 of his 18 starts. He did not allow an earned run in back-to-back starts May 19 and May 24.
- LAST START: July 26, at Baltimore, lost 6-0; 5 earned runs on 9 hits in 6.1 innings; 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, 3 home runs, 105 pitches, 63 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 12, 2011, won 6-4; 4 earned runs on 10 hits in 6.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 108 pitches, 66 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 15-10, 3.61 ERA in 30 starts covering 194.2 innings; 146 strikeouts, 42 walks, 12 home runs, 1.33 WHIP.
- AT FENWAY PARK: 24-19, 4.91 ERA in 51 starts covering 309.2 innings; 238 strikeouts, 88 walks, 32 home runs, 1.45 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (0-for-2, .000 ), Justin Smoak (1-for-10, .100), Henry Blanco (1-for-6, .167).
- HATES TO FACE: Endy Chavez (8-for-13, , .615), Dustin Ackley (3-for-6, .500), Raul Ibanez (22-for-57, .385).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. LACKEY: 45-for-133, .338 BA, 15 strikeouts, 11 walks, 1 home run, .386 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.
- Lefty Joe Saunders, who opened July with a four-game winning streak, ended it with a two-game skid after getting shelled Tuesday night. Prior to his meltdown against the Red Sox, Saunders was 4-1, 1.76 in his last six road outings (after 0-4, 11.25 in his first five).
- Michael Morse saw his first action Tuesday since his rehab assignment in AAA Tacoma and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
- Kyle Seager, who went 2-for-4 Tuesday, is hitting .389 in July. His two hits Tuesday raised his average to .295.
- Nick Franklin’s multi-homer game Sunday against Minnesota was his second of the year (also May 30 at San Diego). According to Elias, Franklin and Michael Young (2001 Rangers) are the only second basemen in the last 48 years to have a pair of multi-homer games in their rookie season. Before Young, the last to do it was was Joe Morgan for Houston in 1965.
- Seattle is 27-17 in games started by Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma and 23-38 in games started by everyone else.
|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|