BY SPNW Staff 07:50AM 05/09/2012

#33: Mariners Get First Look At Touted Rookie

After the Mariners take on Detroit Wednesday, they will head out on a road trip that will take them through New York, Boston, Cleveland and Colorado.

Kyle Seager, who seems to have solidified the third-base position for the Mariners, drove in 10 runs in a five-game stretch and had two more Tuesday. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: Tigers (15-14, 2nd, AL Central, – 2.0 GB) vs. Mariners (14-18, 3rd AL West, – 7.0 GB). GAME #: 33. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 6th (Mariners lead 4-1). WHEN: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m, Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: LHP Drew Smyly (Detroit, 1-0, 1.61) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle, 3-2, 3.09). STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Tigers W 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

Unable to produce a ninth-inning rally Tuesday, which resulted in a 6-4 loss and the end of a three-game winning streak, the Mariners close out their three-game series (and six-game homestand) with the Detroit Tigers Wednesday at Safeco Field.

The Mariners will call on LHP Jason Vargas (3-2) in the series finale, while the Tigers will counter with rookie Drew Smyly (1-0). Vargas is coming off a no-decision against the Minnesota Twins, and Smyle, phenomenal so far with a 1.61 ERA, off a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox. A closer look at Wednesday’s combatants:

MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.09 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)

Jason Vargas

The 29-year-old Vargas, in his seventh major league season and fifth with the Mariners, will make his eighth start and second against the Tigers. Vargas earned a 7-4 decision over Max Scherzer at Comerica Park April 24, his most recent victory.

A native of Apple Valley, CA., the 6-0, 215-pound Vargas was selected in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins.

He made his debut with Florida July 14, 2005, pitching one inning of relief in a 13-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mariners acquired Vargas as part of a three-team swap Dec. 11, 2008, when the New York Mets sent him along with Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto and Aaron Heilman to the Mariners. The Mariners sent Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed to the Mets.

The Mariners also sent Luis Valbuena to the Indians. The Mets sent Joe Smith to the  Indians, who sent Franklin Gutierrez to the Mariners.

Vargas, the only lefty in Seattle’s starting rotation, has a career record of 31-41, 4.43 ERA, including 25-33, 4.10 ERA with the Mariners.

  • LAST START: May 4, 2012, took a no-decision in Seattle’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota at Safeco Field; allowed one earned run on four hits over 6.1 innings, but lost a chance to win when reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, facing a bases-loaded situation, took a hopper back to the mound and inexplicably threw wildly to second base instead of home plate, leading to the winning Minnesota runs.
  • LAST VS. TIGERS: April 24 at Comerica Park, allowed four earned runs on six hits over 6.0 innings, beating the Tigers 7-4; struck out four and walked one; gave up two home runs (Alex Avila, Miguel Cabrera).
  • CAREER VS. TIGERS: 1-1, 5.91 in four starts, covering 21.1 innings; has 14 strikeouts to seven walks and has yielded three home runs to the 97 Detroit batters he’s faced.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 47 appearances, including 43 starts; 17-15 record, 3.52 ERA in 276.1 innings; averages 6.2 K’s per 9 IP; has yielded 25 home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Danny Worth (0-for-4, .000 BA), Austin Jackson (2-for-12, .167 BA), Jhonny Peralta (2-for-8, .250 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Miguel Cabrera (3-for-6, .500 BA), Brennan Boesch (7-for-12, .583 BA), Delmon Young (4-for-12, .333 BA).
  • CURRENT TIGERS VS. VARGAS: 27-for 81, .333 BA, 13 strikeouts.

Vargas / 2012

  • March 29 (ND, 0-0): Pitched well enough to win in Tokyo, but after he departed the game, the bullpen imploded, surrendering three home runs, greasing Seattle’s 4-1 defeat to Oakland.
  • April 6 (W, 1-0): Threw 91 pitches, 58 for strikes, finishing with an in-game ERA of 2.31 in a 7-3 victory over Oakland, Vargas’ first win.
  • April 12 (L, 1-1): Allowed four earned runs on seven hits and lost to Derek Holland and the Rangers 5-3 in Arlington; fanned six and walked one; gave up a two-run bomb to Michael Young, who had four RBIs; threw 96 pitches, 63 strikes.
  • April 18 (W, 2-1): Allowed one earned run on four hits over 7 innings, defeating Indians, 4-1; had nine ground-ball outs and nine fly-ball outs.
  • April 24 (W, 3-1): Allowed four runs on six hits, defeating Max Scherzer and the Tigers 7-4 in a game in which the Mariners banged out 15 hits; struck out four, walked one in a 94-pitch effort that included 61 strikes; surrendered home runs to Avila and Cabrera.
  • April 29 (L, 3-2): Allowed two earned runs on four hits over 6.0 innings and suffered the loss to the Blue Jays; struck out four, walked three; threw a season-high 111 pitches, 60 for strikes.
  • May 4 (ND, 3-2): Took a no-decision in Seattle’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota at Safeco Field; allowed one earned run on four hits over 6.1 innings, but lost a chance to win on Wilhelmsen’s throwing error.

TIGERS: LHP Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.61 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)

Drew Smyly

The 22-year-old Smyly, in his first major league season, will be making his sixth start and first against the Mariners. He enters Wednesday’s game having fanned 21 batters in his past 18.0 innings.

A native of Maumelle, AR., the 6-3, 190-pound Smyly, who pitched for the University of Arkansas-Fayettville, was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft.

He began his professional career in 2011 with Lakeland (A) of the Florida State League and also pitched for Erie (AA) of the Eastern League. He had 12 minor league starts in 2011, the last seven at the AA level.

After opening the 2012 season with Toledo (AAA) of the International League (one start, one loss), Smyly made his major league debut April 12 against Tampa Bay. Smyly worked 4.0 innings, allowing one run on four hits; he struck out four and walked two and received a no-decision.

2012: Smyly pitched into the sixth inning of his next four starts, never allowing no more than two earned runs in any of them. In each, Smyly came away with a no-decision. Smyly has exceeded 100 pitches in two of his five starts and has fanned seven in each of his past three. He collected his first major league win April 28, defeating former Mariner Freddy Garcia and the Yankees, 7-5.

Asked, after that game, what he likes most about Smyly, Detroit manager Jim Leyland said, “He gets ‘em out.”

  • LAST START: May 4 at Comerica Park, received a no-decision in Detroit’s 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox; allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings; struck out seven and walked none.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: Never faced.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: No record.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: No record.
  • LOVES/HATES TO FACE: No record against any member of the Mariners.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 20 10 .655 8-5 12-5 5-5 Won 2
Athletics 16 14 .533 4.0 7-7 9-7 6-4 Won 3
Mariners 14 18 .438 7.0 6-8 8-10 3-7 Lost 1
Angels 13 18 .419 7.5 9-8 4-10 6-4 Lost 1

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: Wednesday — Early Mother’s Day Celebration (Mariners Necklace).
  • MARINERS VS. TIGERS: Mariners are 171-198 all-time vs. the Tigers, including 94-87 in Seattle and 29-25 at Safeco Field. Mariners lead the 2012 series 4-1 after splitting the first two games of a current three-game series at Safeco Field. Mariners have not swept a three-game series from Detroit at Safeco Field since July 29-31, 2003. Tigers last swept at Safeco April 21-23, 2006.
  • LATEST: Kevin Millwood, who lost Tuesday (barely made it through the second inning) after allowing five earned runs in 5.0 innings, has produced only two quality starts among his six outings. His ERA stands at 5.88 . . . Mariners said Tuesday that they aren’t sure if Blake Beavan will be able to make his scheduled start Sunday in New York. Beavan took a liner off his right arm in Monday’s game . . . Dustin Ackley went 1-for-5 with a run scored Tuesday, extending hitting streak to six games (batting .273 during the streak) . . . Kyle Seager, 2-for-4 Tuesday, is hitting .348 over his past 13 games (13×46). After doubling Tuesday, he leads the club with nine. . . Shawn Kelly’s four strikeouts Tuesday marked a career high . . . Jesus Montero is batting .386 when he catches (17×44) and .200 (13×65) when he DHs. Montero caught Tuesday . . . Since being dropped to the No. 7 slot in the batting order, Justin Smoak has gone 3-for-24 and is hitting .178. . . . Brendan Ryan’s multi-hit game Wednesday (2-for-4) was his third of the year (also April 6, May 4).
  • SERIES/STREAKS: Series Record: Won 4, 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 eighth (AL) in runs (123), sixth in hits (256), fourth in doubles (56), seventh in triples (5) and ninth in home runs (27) . . . Rank 13th in batting average (.236), 13th in on-base percentage (.291), 12th in slugging (.371) and 12th in OPS (.663) . . . batting 63-for-266 (.237) with runners in scoring position after going 4-for-15 Tuesday . . . out-homered 35-27 . . . left 199 men on base, opponents 200. . .scored 123 runs, opponents 128. . . scored 70 of 123 runs in the first four innings . . . Mariners 12-5 when scoring 4+ runs . . . Mariners have homered in 10 of last 15 games . . . 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 . . . Walk-Off Wins: May 7, their first since Sept. 14, 2011 vs. New York, and their first via a sacrifice fly since Sept. 14, 2007 vs. Tampa Bay (Jose Guillen).
  • PITCHING: Mariners rank sixth in ERA (3.86), sixth in hits allowed (251), ninth in runs allowed (128), ninth in home runs allowed (35), seventh in walks (91), sixth in strikeouts (225) . . . In his past four outings, Felix Hernandez has allowed 15 hits and two earned runs, dropping his ERA to 1.89. Against the Twins Saturday, Hernandez set them down 1-2-3 in seven of eight innings . . . 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 (1-for-4 Tuesday) 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 (2,466), tied with Harry Hooper and one behind Roger Connor . . . 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: The Mariners have a day off Thursday, after which they 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.
  • May 2: Ichiro set a club record for most putouts by a right fielder in a nine-inning game, registering 10 in a 5-4 loss at Tampa.
  • May 3: The Mariners featured a lineup at Tampa Bay that included seven left- handed hitters and two switch-hitters. It marked only the third time in club history that the Mariners used an all left-sided lineup. Others: Aug. 13, 1983 at California and Aug. 9, 1983 at Oakland.
  • May 5: Combined one-hitter by Felix Hernandez and Steve Delabar vs. Minnesota was the 13th in Mariners history. Ten have been thrown by one pitcher, three combined. Most recent combined: Michael Pineda, Jeff Gray and Brandon League vs. Tampa, July 30, 2011. Most recent by one pitcher: Jarrod Washburn, July 6, 2009

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
14-18 6-8 8-10 2-6 11-13 11-16 3-3 11-7 3-11

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.236 .208 .256 123 27 .291 .371 .663 .237

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
14-18 3.86 284.1 128 121 35 .236 .301 .386

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/9 Wed vs. Min Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.09) vs. Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.61)
5/11 Fri at NYY Felix Hernandez (3-1, 1.89) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (2-4, 3.75)

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 W, 7-0 12-17 W: Hernandez (3-1); L: Marquis (2-1)
30 5/6 vs. Min W, 5-2 13-17 W: Noesi (2-3): L: Blackburn (0-4)
31 5/7 vs. Det W, 3-2 14-17 W: Delabar (1-0); L: Dotel (1-1)
32 5/8 vs. Det L, 6-4 14-18 W: Verlander (3-1); L: Millwood (0-4)
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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