BY SPNW Staff 11:25AM 05/05/2012

#29: Mariners Task Felix With Ending The Mess

Minnesota hadn’t scored in 25 innings before breaking through against the Mariners Friday. Seattle’s best hope of snapping its seven-game losing streak: King Felix.

Felix Hernandez will attempt to put a halt to Seattle's season-high seven-game losing streak Saturday when the Mariners meet the Twins. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest file

GAME: Twins (7-18, 5th AL Central, -7.5 GB) Mariners (11-17, 3rd AL West, – 7.5 GB). GAME #: 29. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 2nd (Twins lead 1-0). WHEN: Saturday, 6:10 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Jason Marquis (Minnesota, 2-0, 6.23) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (Seattle, 2-1, 2.23) RHP. STREAKS: Mariners L 7; Twins W 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

Mired in a seven-game losing streak, which includes four one-run defeats, the Mariners Saturday will task ace Felix Hernandez with returning them to the win column. Hernandez is coming off his third no-decision in six outings and will be matched against RHP Jason Marquis, who is undefeated (2-0), but features a fat ERA (6.23). A closer look at Saturday’s probables:

MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (2-1, 2.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)

Felix Hernandez

The 25-year-old Hernandez, in his eighth major league season, all with the Mariners, will be making his seventh start and first against the Twins.

A native of Valencia, VZ., the 6-3, 230-pound Hernandez was signed as a non-drafted free agent July 4, 2002 by Seattle scout Bob Engle.

He made his major league debut Aug. 4, 2005, absorbing a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, in a game in which Hernandez allowed one earned run and fanned four. Hernandez is a two-time American League All-Star (2009, 2011) and won the AL Cy Young award in 2010, when he went 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA.

Hernandez has a career mark of 87-68, 3.21 ERA, and a career batting average against of .238.

  • LAST START: April 30 at Tampa Bay, took a no-decision in Seattle’s 3-2 loss when Brandon League blew the save and game; allowed one earned run on five hits over 8.0 innings; fanned nine and walked four; threw 106 pitches, 71 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. TWINS: May 17, 2011, at Safeco Field, took the loss in Seattle’s 2-1 setback to Francisco Liriano; allowed two earned runs on three hits over 8.0 innings; fanned nine, walked three, threw 109 pitches, 66 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. TWINS: 4-5, 2.65 in 12 starts, covering 78.1 innings; averages 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings; has given up three home runs.
  • AT SAFECO: 44-30, 3.19 ERA in 103 games, all starts, covering 708.1 innings; averages 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings; 665 strikeouts; has allowed 59 home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Denard Span (1-for-15, .067 BA, 6 K’s), Justin Morneau (4-for-29, .138 BA, 7 K’s), Jeremy Carroll (1-for-6, 1.67 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Joe Mauer (13-for-26, .500 BA, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs).
  • CURRENT TWINS VS. HERNANDEZ: 29-for-119, .244 BA, 4 HRs.

Felix in 2012

  • March 28 (ND, 0-0): Pitched well enough to win season debut, but the Mariners and A’s battled through a 1-1 tie until the 11th when Seattle pushed across two runs to win 3-1, a Tokyo Dome contest that featured a home run and two RBIs by Dustin Ackley and a 4-for-5 performance by Ichiro.
  • April 7: (W, 1-0): Didn’t have best stuff — allowed six earned runs on eight hits over 6.1 IP — but 13 hits, 3 by Chone Figgins, staked him to a 6-0 lead.
  • April 13 (L, 1-1): Allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 7 IP, but lost to Bartolo Colon and the A’s 4-0; fanned six and walked two in a 107-pitch effort that included 69 strikes; had an equal number of ground ball and fly ball outs, 10.
  • April 19 (ND, 1-1): Gave up five hits and no runs in 8.0 innings vs. Cleveland at Safeco Field; had 12 strikeouts and one walk; Brandon League relieved and sustained a blown save and the 2-1 loss.
  • April 25 (W, 2-1): Defeated Detroit 9-1 at Comerica Park; allowed one earned run on four hits over 7.0 innings; uncharacteristic three walks in the first inning.
  • April 30 (ND, 2-1) Took a no-decision in Seattle’s 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay when Brandon League blew the save and game; allowed one earned run on five hits over 8.0 innings; fanned nine and walked four; threw 106 pitches, 71 for strikes.

TWINS: RHP Jason Marquis (2-0, 6.23 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)

Jason Marquis

The 33-year-old Marquis, in his 13th major league season and first with the Twins, will be making his fourth start and first against the Mariners.

A native of Manhasset, NY., the 6-1, 220-pound Marquis was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the first round (35th pick) of the 1996 amateur draft.

Marquis pitched in the Atlanta system for four years before making his major league debut June 6, 2000, in a 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays; worked one inning of relief and did not allow a hit or a run.

Marquis pitched for the Braves from 2000-03, compiling a record of 14-15, .445 ERA. On Dec. 19, 2003, the Braves traded Marquis, Ray King and Adam Wainwright to the Cardinals for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero.

Marquis stayed with the Cardinals from 2004-06, winning a high of 14 games in 2006, a year in which he also led the National League in losses with 16. After becoming a free agent, Marquis signed with the Cubs, spending the 2007-08 seasons in the Windy City.

After going 23-18 in two years, Marquis spent a year in Colorado (2009), two years in Washington (2010-11) and part of a season with Arizona (2011).

He signed with Minnesota as a free agent Dec. 22.

Marquis represented the Rockies in the 2009 All-Star Game. He won a career-high 15 games that year. Marquis has a career mark of 106-98, 4.57.

  • 2012: Marquis has not pitched beyond 6.1 innings in his three previous starts, but has won twice, at New York April 18 and vs. Kansas City April 29; shelled for five earned runs on 11 hits April 23 vs. Boston.
  • LAST START: April 29, at Target Field, was the winning pitcher in a 7-4 victory over Kansas City; went 6.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits; gave up one home run; lifted after 80 pitches, 49 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: June 23, 2011 at Nationals Park, received a no-decision pitching for Washington in its 1-0 victory over the Mariners; pitched 8.0 innings, allowing just three hits.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 1-0, 1.71 ERA in four games, all starts, covering 26.1 innings; fanned 17 of 104 batters; one home run.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: Never pitched.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Miguel Olivo (0-for-7, .000 BA) {injured}, Dustin Ackley (0-for-3, .000 B), Mike Carp (0-for-2, .000 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Chone Figgins (2-for-3, .667 BA), Brendan Ryan (2-for-5, .400 BA), Ichiro (3-for-12, .250 BA, 2 RBIs.
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. MARQUIS: 10-for-44, .227 BA, 0 HRs, 4 strikeouts.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 17 9 .654 8-5 9-4 4-6 Lost 3
Athletics 13 14 .481 4.5 6-7 7-7 5-5 L 1
Mariners 11 17 .393 7.0 3-7 8-10 3-7 Lost 7
Angels 10 17 .370 7.5 7-8 3-9 4-6 Lost 2

LAST GAME

Twins 4, Mariners 3

AT SEATTLE (May 4): Joe Mauer’s two-out RBI single in the seventh inning, coming in the wake of an absurd throwing error by Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, helped the Minnesota Twins rally for a 3-2 victory, handing the Mariners their seventh consecutive defeat. The Twins snapped a 25-inning scoreless streak.

The Mariners fell to 11-17, 7 games behind the front-running Texas Rangers. The Mariners lost by one run for the fourth time in five contests and only once got to Twins starter Carl Pavano, who allowed two runs on eight hits over 6.0 innings.

The Mariners scored their runs in the fifth when Jesus Montero opened with a double and scored on a Kyle Seager double. Mike Carp brought Seager home with another double.

In the seventh, Minnesota got a huge break when Wilhelmsen, having taken over for Jason Vargas, made a costly throwing error that allowed Minnesota’s first run to score and eventually led to Mauer’s single that scored Trevor Plouffe with the winning run.

Wilhelmsen walked Alexi Casilla and Plouffe to load the bases. It appeared Wilhelmsen would get out of the inning when Denard Span tapped back to the mound. But instead of throwing home for the force out, Wilhelmsen, who barehanded the catch, inexplicably spun 180 degrees and threw wide of second. Everyone was safe because of the errant throw and Parmelee scored.

“I had a brain (lapse) and a pretty important one,” Wilhelmsen said. “Cost the ball game.”

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • CURRENT HOMESTAND: Three vs. Minnesota Friday-Sunday and three vs. Detroit Monday-Wednesday. Mariners swept the Tigers in Detroit April 25-27. This will be Detroit’s only visit to Safeco Field in 2012 . . . Promotions: Saturday — Dustin Ackley T-Shirts; Sunday — Little League Day (Brandon League poster); Monday — BECU Family Night; Tuesday — Military Special Night; Wednesday — Early Mother’s Day Celebration (Mariners Necklace).
  • MARINERS VS. TWINS: Mariners are 203-195-1 all-time vs. the Twins, including 110-87 in Seattle and 35-26 at Safeco Field. Mariners won the 2011 series 5-3, splitting two games at Safeco Field. Mariners outscored the Twins 31-25. Twins also play in Seattle Aug. 17-19. Mariners play in Target Center Aug. 27-30 . . . Mariners have not swept a three-game series from Minnesota at Safeco Field since July 27-29, 2001. Twins have never swept three games at Safeco.
  • LATEST: Dustin Ackley went 1-for-4 in his first game as Seattle’s new leadoff hitter. Ackley moved into the role when manager Eric Wedge had no recourse but to bench Chone Figgins (.189). Can “designated for assignment” be far behind?  . . . Mariners outscored 32-14 during the seven-game losing streak . . . Seven-game skid is longest since a 17-game slide in July . . . Since being dropped to the No. 7 slot in the batting order Wednesday (he actually hit sixth Friday), Justin Smoak has gone 1-for-10 and is hitting .183. . . SS Brendan Ryan snapped an 0-for-26 funk Friday by collecting two hits . . . Mariners went 3-for-6 with RISP Friday, but stranded nine . . . When the Mariners hit three doubles in the fifth inning Friday, it marked the first time Seattle recorded a trio of two-baggers in the same inning since the fourth inning against San Diego May 21, 2010.
  • SERIES/STREAKS: Series Record: Won 3, split 0, lost 5; Sweeps: 1; Swept: 1. Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27). Longest Losing Streak: 7 (April 28-May 4).
  • BATTING: Mariners rank ninth (AL) in runs (104), fourth in hits (229), ninth in triples (3) and ninth in home runs (25) . . . Rank 13th in batting average (.237), 13th in on-base percentage (.286), 11th in slugging (.373) and 12th in OPS (.659) . . . batting 52-for-233 (.223) with runners in scoring position . . . out-homered 32-25 . . . left 176 men on base, opponents 176. . .scored 104 runs, opponents 118. . . scored 62 of 108 runs in the first four innings . . . batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th) . . .shut out four times (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland, April 21 vs. Chicago, April 27 at Toronto).
  • BATTING EXTRA: Jesus Montero and Miguel Olivo share Seattle’s longest hitting streak: 8 games, Montero March 29-April 14, Olivo April 22 until he went on DL list May 1 . . . Mariners have recorded four bases-loaded walks (Kawasaki, Ryan, Montero, Smoak) . . . 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 . . . Montero’s 13 RBIs in April were the most by a Mariners’ rookie since 1986 . . . Three Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 vs. Oakland), Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) and Jesus Montero (May 1 at Tampa) have four-hit games.
  • PITCHING: Mariners rank eighth in ERA (4.06), ninth in hits allowed (226), 10th in runs allowed (118), 10th in home runs allowed (32), sixth in walks (78), sixth in strikeouts (192) . . . By pitching eight innings of one-run ball Monday, Felix Hernandez has 17 career no-decisions while throwing 7.0 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs . . . Closer Brandon League has two blown saves after not blowing his first save of 2011 until May 10.
  • ICHIRO (0-for-4 Friday) has 763 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 . . . Three-hit game April 30 marked the 226th of his major league career . . . Ranks No. 101 on career hits list (2,463), three behind No. 100 Harry Hooper (2,466) . . . Since 2001, has recorded 99 outfield assists. Only Jeff Francouer, with 100, has more . . . With 96 career home runs, needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
  • ODDS/ENDS: Mariners do not have an off day until May 10, after which they will play 20 consecutive days, making for a 37-day stretch including 36 games . . . Mariners have three more bobblehead nights: May 25 (Dustin Ackley), June 15 (Felix Hernandez), July 28 (Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson).
  • DEBUTS: Munenori Kawasaki (April 7), Lucas Luetge (April 7), Erasmo Ramirez (April 9), Hisashi Iwakuma (April 20).
  • DISABLED LIST: Miguel Olivo (15-day, May 1, strained right groin), George Sherrill (15-day, April 13, strained flexor bundle), Franklin Gutierrez (15-day, March 28, torn pectoral muscle), Adam Moore (15-day, March 28, fractured wrist).

2012 RECORDS / MILESTONES

  • 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).
  • April 27: Michael Saunders joined Donnie Scott (April 29, 1985) and Jimmy Presley (April 8, 1986) as the only Mariners to hit two home runs in a game in the ninth inning or later (solo homer in the 9th, grand slam in the 10th).
  • April 30: When both Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero homered, it marked the first time in franchise history that two players had homered in the same game as a catcher.

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
11-17 3-7 8-10 1-6 9-12 8-15 3-3 9-7 2-10

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.237 .201 .256 104 25 .286 .373 .659 .223

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
11-17 4.06 239.1 118 111 32 .241 .305 .397

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/5 Sat vs. Min Hernandez (2-1, 2.23) vs. Marquis (2-1, 6.23)
5/6 Sun vs. Min Noesi (1-3, 7.83) vs. Blackburn (0-3, 6.64)
5/7 Mon vs. Det Beavan (1-3, 4.45) vs. Fister (0-0, 0.00)
5/8 Tue vs. Det Millwood (0-3, 5.34) vs. Verlander (2-1, 2.38)
5/9 Wed vs. Min Jason Vargas (tonight) vs. Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.23)

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 L, 7-0 11-11 W: Morrow (2-1); L: Millwood (0-2)
23 4/29 at Tor L, 7-2 11-12 W: Alvarez (1-2); L: Vargas (3-2)
24 4/30 at TB L, 3-2 11-13 W: Howell (1-0); L: League (0-2)

May

Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
25 5/1 at TB L, 3-1 11-14 W: Moore (1-1); L: Noesi (1-3)
26 5/2 at TB L, 5-4 11-15 W: Shields (5-0); L: Beavan (1-3)
27 5/3 at TB L, 4-3 11-16 W: Niemann (2-3); L: Millwood (0-3)
28 5/4 vs. Min L, 3-2 11-17 W: Pavano (2-2); L: Wilhelmsen (1-1)
29 5/5 vs. Min
30 5/6 vs. Min
31 5/7 vs. Det
32 5/8 vs. Det
33 5/9 vs. Det
34 5/11 at NYY
35 5/12 at NYY
36 5/13 at NYY
37 5/14 at Bos
38 5/15 at Bos
39 5/16 at Cle
40 5/17 at Cle
41 5/18 at Col
42 5/19 at Col
43 5/20 at Col
44 5/21 vs. Tex
45 5/22 vs. Tex
46 5/23 vs. Tex
47 5/24 vs. LAL
48 5/25 vs. LAL
49 5/26 vs. LAL
50 5/27 vs. LAL
51 5/28 at Tex
52 5/29 at Tex
53 5/30 at Tex

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