BY SPNW Staff 07:25AM 04/28/2012

#22: Mariners Confront A Familiar Face Saturday

Extra-inning winners Friday (9-5), the Mariners encounter a familiar face — although a bearded one — when they battle Brandon Morrow of the Blue Jays Saturday.

Brandon Morrow, a former No. 1 draft pick by the Mariners, goes against his former team Saturday in the second game of a three-game series. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (11-10, T 2 AL West, – 4.5 GB) at Blue Jays (10-10, 4th, AL East, – 3.0 GB). GAME #: 22. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 2nd (Mariners lead 1-0). WHEN: Saturday, 1:07 p.m. Rogers Center, Toronto, Canada. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Kevin Millwood (Seattle, 0-1, 7.04) vs. RHP Brandon Morrow (Toronto, 1-1, 3.71). STREAKS: Mariners W 4; Blue Jays L 4. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

When, in December of 2009, the Mariners dispatched Brandon Morrow to the Toronto Blue Jays (in a trade that netted Seattle closer Brandon League), they still hadn’t determined whether Morrow would be better suited to start or relieve. The club had tried him in both roles, waffling all the while.

Toronto had no such misgivings. Morrow quickly established himself as a part of the Blue Jays’ rotation and, since the trade, has twice beaten his former employers, averaging more than 13 K’s per nine innings pitched against them.

Morrow makes his third career start against Seattle in a Rogers Center matinee Saturday, opposite Kevin Millwood, still seeking his first victory in Seattle flannels. A closer look at Saturday’s probables:

MARINERS: RHP Kevin Millwood (0-1, 7.04 ERA, 1.76 WHIP)

Kevin Millwood

The 37-year-old Millwood, in his 16th major league season and first with the Mariners, will be making his fourth start of the season and his first against the Blue Jays.

A native of Gastonia, NC., the 6-4, 230-pound Millwood was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 1993 amateur draft.

Millwood made his major league debut July 14, 1997, collecting a win in relief for the Braves against the Philadelphia Phillies. During his career, Millwood pitched for the Braves (1997-02), Philadelphia (2003-04), Cleveland (2005), Texas (2006-09), Baltimore (2010) and Colorado (2011) before joining the Mariners.

Millwood twice won 18 games in a season, going 18-7 for the 1999 Braves and 18-8 for the 2002 Braves. Millwood led the National League in starts with 35 in 2000, led the NL in shutouts in 2003 with three, led the American League in ERA in 2005 at 2.86, and the AL in losses in 2010 with 16.

Millwood represented Atlanta in the 1999 All-Star Game.

During his American League career, Millwood made 24 starts against the Mariners, posting an 8-13 record with a 4.91 ERA.

Millwood signed with the Mariners Jan. 24 as a free agent, and earned the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong performance during spring training.

Millwood, who has coughed up leads in each of his past two starts, has a career record of 163-141, 4.12 ERA into Saturday’s game.

  • LAST START: April 22 at Safeco Field, couldn’t hold a lead and wound up allowing five earned runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings in a 7-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians; struck out six and walked four, but got chased in the sixth after Alex Rios hit a two-run triple.
  • LAST VS. BLUE JAYS: July 27, 2010, sustained an 8-2 loss at Rogers Center after allowing six runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings; Jose Bautista hit the big blow off Millwood, a three-run homer in the first inning; struck out five and walked four.
  • CAREER VS. BLUE JAYS: 12 starts with a 2-7 record and 4.15 ERA over 71.1 innings; has struck out 53 and walked 12, and surrendered 12 home runs.
  • AT ROGERS CENTER: Eight starts, 1-5 record, 5.33 ERA covering 49.0 innings; has allowed eight home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Adam Lind (0-for-16, .000 BA, 4 K’s), Jeff Mathis (3-for-20, .150 BA, 5 K’s), Edwin Encarnaction (2-for-11, .182 BA, 4 K’s).
  • HATES TO FACE: Yunel Escobar (3-for-4, .750 BA), Jose Bautista (7-for-12, .583 BA, 1 HR, 1 3B, 8 RBIs, 2 BBs).
  • CURRENT BLUE JAYS VS. MILLWOOD: 18-for-81, .222 BA, 13 RBIs, 18 K’s.

Millwood / 2012

  • April 11 (ND, 0-0): Allowed one earned run on four hits over 6 innings; a no-decision in a 4-3 Seattle victory over Texas; struck out seven, walked three; threw 103 pitches, 61 for strikes.
  • April 17 (ND, 0-0): Couldn’t hold an 8-1 lead, but took a no-decision after allowing seven runs on nine hits in four innings in Seattle’s 9-8 loss to Cleveland.
  • April 22 (L, 0-1): Shelled for the second consecutive starts (five earned runs in 6.0 IP) in a 7-4 loss to Cleveland at Safeco Field (first decision as a Mariner).

BLUE JAYS: RHP Brandon Morrow (1-1, 3.71 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

Brandon Morrow

The 27-year-old Morrow, in his sixth major league season and third with Toronto, will be making his fifth start of the 2012 season and his first against the Mariners.

A native of Santa Rosa, CA., 6-3, 200-pound Morrow made All-America at the University of California and was a first-round selection (fifth overall pick) by the Seattle Mariners in the 2006 amateur draft.

Morrow began his pro career in the Mariners’ system at Arizona (Rookie League) in 2006 and advanced to Inland Empire (2006) before making his major league debut April 3, 2007, against Oakland. Morrow pitched 1.0 innings and received a no-decision.

Morrow worked strictly in relief in his first year (60 appearances) and began the transformation into a starting pitcher in 2008. But the Mariners never could figure out whether Morrow was best suited to start or relieve.

In 131 games with Seattle, Morrow made 15 starts. During his time with the Mariners, he went 8-12, 3.96.

On Dec. 23, 2009, the Mariners traded Morrow to the Blue Jays for Johermyn Chavez (minors) and Brandon League. Morrow has been a full-time starter since the trade. He went 10-7, 4.49 in 2010 and 11-11, 3.79 in 2011.

Morrow will bring a career record of 30-31, 4.34 into Saturday’s game at the Rogers Center.

  • 2012: Morrow opened the season with a pair of no-decisions and then lost his third start April 18 when Tampa Bay raked him for six earned runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings. Morrow rebounded with his best effort April 23, defeating Kansas City 4-1.
  • LAST START: April 23 at Kauffman Stadium, allowed one earned run on seven hits over 6.2 innings; struck out three and walked one (100 pitches, 66 for strikes) in outdueling Bruce Chen.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 17, 2011, defeated his former team 5-1 by allowing one earned run on three hits over 6.0 innings; had a career-high 12 strikeouts and just two walks; threw 110 pitches, 73 for strikes in outdueling Blake Beavan.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: Has made two starts and has a record of 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in 13.1 innings; in two starts, has averaged 13.2 strikeouts per 9 innings; has yet to allow a home run.
  • AT ROGERS CENTER: Has made 36 appearances, including 31 starts; has a 13-10 record and 3.66 ERA; averages 11.4 strikeouts per 9 innings and has surrendered just eight home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (1-for-5, .200 BA, 3 K’s), Dustin Ackley (1-for-5, .200 BA, 2 K’s).
  • HATES TO FACE: Brendan Ryan (2-for-3, .667 BA), Justin Smoak (2-for-6, .333 BA), Miguel Olivo (1-for-3, .333 BA), Ichiro (2-for-7, .286 BA).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. MORROW: 16-for-69, .232 BA, 0 HRs, 23 K’s.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 15 5 .750 7-4 8-1 7-3 Lost 1
Athletics 11 10 .524 4.5 6-7 5-3 7-3 Won 3
Mariners 11 10 .524 4.5 3-6 8-4 5-5 Won 4
Angels 6 14 .300 9.0 4-6 2-8 2-8 Lost 5

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • With Seattle’s 9-5 victory Friday, the Mariners have now won four consecutive games after losing four in a row.
  • The Mariners are 167-187 all-time against the Blue Jays, who won six of the nine games played between the teams in 2011, outscoring Seattle 66-44.
  • The Mariners have not taken a season series from Toronto since 2008.
  • Seattle has not swept a series in Toronto since May 11-13, 2001, and has never swept a four-game series (this series is four games).
  • The Mariners have scored 53 of their 90 runs in the first four innings.
  • The Mariners have been charged with five passed balls in the past four games, four by Miguel Olivo, one by Jesus Montero.
  • Since getting “perfecto-ed” by Philip Humber last Saturday, the Mariners have had three double-digit hitting games, including 111 Friday against Toronto.
  • After 21 games, the Mariners rank fifth in runs scored (90), sixth in hits (174), fifth in triples (3) and 10th in home runs (18).
  • After 21 games, the Mariners rank 11th in the AL in batting average (.242), 13th in on-base percentage (.294), 12th in slugging (.375) and 12th in OPS (.669).
  • Through 21 games, the Mariners are batting 45-for-182 (.247) with runners in scoring position; they went 3-for-11 Friday (.272).
  • Through 21 games, the Mariners have been out-homered 25-18.
  • Through 21 games, the Mariners have left 121 men on base, their opponents 131.
  • Through 21 games, the Mariners have scored 90 runs, their opponents 86.
  • Ichiro (0-for-5 Friday) has 759 multi-hit games, which ranks fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro’s 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players.
  • Ichiro’s three-hit game Wednesday (April 25) marked the 225th of his major league career.
  • With 96 career home runs, Ichiro needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
  • Felix Hernandez has 16 career no-decisions while throwing 7 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs.
  • The Mariners have four bases-loaded walks (Kawasaki, Ryan, Montero, Smoak), which leads the American League and is tied (w/SD) for the MLB lead. The Mariners had 13 bases-loaded walks last season,  T2nd in the AL.
  • Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning April 17 marked the 50,000th hit in Mariners’ history, and Brendan Ryan’s walk in the same frame scored Justin Smoak with the 25,000th run in franchise history.
  • Two Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 in Tokyo vs. Oakland) and Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) have four-hit games in 2012.
  • Jesus Montero owns Seattle’s longest hitting streak: eight games, from March 29-April 14.
  • The Mariners have been shut out three times (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland, April 21 vs. Chicago).
  • Four Mariners, Hisashi Iwakuma, Munenori Kawasaki, Lucas Luetge and Erasmo Ramirez, have made their MLB debuts this season.
  • The Mariners have batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th). Justin Smoak had two hits in the fourth vs. Cleveland, a pair of singles.
  • The Mariners have three more bobblehead nights: May 25 (Dustin Ackley), June 15 (Felix Hernandez), July 28 (Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson).
  • Series Records: Won 3, split 0, lost 3; Sweeps: 0; Swept: 1
  • Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27).
  • Longest Losing Streak: 4 (April 19-22).

2012 RECORDS SET, TIED

  • April 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo matched the franchise record  when he was charged with three passed balls in a 7-4 win at Detroit. Jerry Narron let three balls get by him Oct. 4, 1980, and Jeff Clement did likewise Aug. 10, 2008 (Clement was catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey).

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
11-10 3-6 8-4 1-3 9-8 8-7 3-3 9-4 2-6

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.242 .195 .272 90 18 .294 .375 .669 .247

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
11-10 4.02 188.0 86 83 25 .246 .303 .401

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
4/28 Sat at Tor Millwood (0-1, 7.04) vs. Morrow (1-1, 3.71)
4/29 Sun at Tor Vargas (3-1, 3.45) vs. Alvarez (0-2, 4.10)
4/30 Mon at TB Hernandez (2-1, 2.48) vs. Hellickson (3-0, 2.84)
5/1 Tue at TB Noesi (1-2, 8.83) vs. Moore (0-1, 4.68)
5/2 Wed at TB Beavan (1-2, 3.26) vs. Shields (3-0, 2.76)
5/3 Thr at TB Millwood (today)  vs. Niemann (1-2, 4.11)

MARINERS 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS

March

Gm.# Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
1 3/28 at Oak W, 3-1 1-0 W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)
2 3/29 at Oak L, 4-1 1-1 W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)

April

Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
3 4/6 at Oak W, 7-3 2-1 W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)
4 4/7 at Oak W, 8-7 3-1 W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)
5 4/9 at Tex L, 11-5 3-2 W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)
6 4/10 at Tex L, 1-0 3-3 W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)
7 4/11 at Tex W, 4-3 4-3 W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)
8 4/12 at Tex L, 5-3 4-4 W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1
9 4/13 vs Oak L, 4-0 4-5 W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)
10 4/14 vs. Oak W, 4-0 5-5 W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)
11 4/15 vs. Oak W, 5-3 6-5 W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)
12 4/17 vs. Cle L, 9-8 6-6 W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)
13 4/18 vs. Cle W, 4-1 7-6 W: Vargas (2-1); L: Lowe (2-1)
14 4/19 vs. Cle L, 2-1 7-7 W: Tomlin (1-1); L: League (0-1)
15 4/20 vs. CWS L, 7-3 7-8 W: Sale (2-1); L: Noesi (1-2)
16 4/21 vs. CWS L, 4-0 7-9 W: Humber (1-0); Beavan (1-2)
17 4/22 vs. CWS L, 7-4 7-10 W: Danks (2-2); L: Millwood (0-1)
18 4/24 at Det W, 7-4 8-10 W: Vargas (3-1); L: Scherzer (1-2)
19 4/25 at Det W, 9-1 9-10 W: Fernandez (2-1); L: Wilk (0-3)
20 4/26 at Det W, 5-4 10-10 W: Furbush (1-1); L: Porcello (1-2)
21 4/27 at Tor W, 9-5 11-10 W: Furbush (2-1); L: Perez (2-1)
22 4/28 at Tor
23 4/29 at Tor
24 4/30 at TB

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