BY SPNW Staff 07:22AM 05/16/2012

#39: Mariners Take Flailing Act To Cleveland

Losers of four of five on this trip, the Mariners are counting on Felix Hernandez to be the stopper against the leaders of the American League Central.

The Mariners open a two-game series at Cleveland's Progressive Field Wednesday. The Mariners actually have a winning record (42-40) in the ballpark. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (16-22, 4th AL West, – 7.5 GB) at Indians (20-16, 1st AL Central, +2.0 GA). GAME #: 39. SERIES: 1st of 2 games. MEETING: 4th (Indians lead 2-1). WHEN: Wednesday, 4:05 p.m., Progressive Field, Cleveland. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (Seattle, 3-2, 2.29) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (Cleveland, 3-3, 5.18). STREAKS: Mariners L 2; Indians W 2. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

Outscored 11-1 by Boston in two feeble offensive performances at Fenway Park Monday-Tuesday, the Mariners move their deteriorating act to Cleveland Wednesday to start a two-game series with the Indians,  AL Central leaders who took two of three from Seattle at Safeco Field April 17-19.

Losers of four of their past five, the Mariners will have their best chance to win at Progressive Field when they start ace Felix Hernandez (3-2, 2.29) against Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 5.18).

Notable about the Indians is that they have five former Mariners: Casey Kotchman (2010), Asdrubal Cabrera (minors, 2002-07), Jack Hannahan (2009), Shin-Soo Choo (2005-06) and Jose Lopez (2004-10).

In the April 19 Seattle-Cleveland game, Hannahan ripped a two-run single off Brandon League in the ninth inning, giving Cleveland a 2-1 win. Hernandez (no-decision) started that game. A closer look:

MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (3-2, 2.29 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)

Felix Hernandez

The 25-year-old Hernandez, in his eighth major league season, all with the Mariners, will be making his ninth start and second against the Indians. Hernandez pitched 8.0 innings against Cleveland April 19 and did not allow an earned run, but came away with the loss when  Hannahan hit a two-run single off Brandon League in the ninth inning.

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 worked into the eighth inning in four of eight starts and into the seventh in two other starts. Hernandez has a career mark of 87-68, 3.21 ERA, and a career batting average against of .238.

  • LAST START: May 11 at New York, lost 6-2 when former Mariner Raul Ibanez belted a three-run homer; allowed four earned runs on a season-high 11 hits; struck out seven, walked two.
  • LAST VS. INDIANS: April 19, 2012, took a 2-1 loss at Safeco Field despite allowing no earned runs over 8.0 innings; struck out a season-high 12 with just one walk; threw a season-high 126 pitches.
  • CAREER VS. INDIANS: 5-3, 2.50 ERA  in 11 starts, covering 72.0 innings; fans 9.71 batters per nine IP; .236 batting average against; has allowed five home runs.
  • AT PROGRESSIVE FIELD: 3-3, 3.14 ERA in six starts, covering 43.0 innings; averages 9.76 strikeouts per nine innings; all five home runs allowed have come at Progressive Field.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Matt LaPorta (2-for-11, .182 BA), Asdrubal Cabrera (2-for-11, .182 BA), Shin-Soo Choo (4-for-24, .190 BA),
  • HATES TO FACE: Grady Sizemore, 9-for-18, .500 BA), Johnny Damon (11-for-22, .500 BA), Jack Hannahan (8-for-18, .444 BA).
  • CURRENT YANKEES VS. HERNANDEZ: 80-for-311, .257 BA, 12 HRs, 80 K’s.

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.
  • May 5  (W, 3-1): Beat Twins 7-0; allowed one hit over 8.0 innings, struck out nine and walked two; threw 107 pitches, 71 for strikes.
  • May 11 (L, 3-2): Lost 6-2 when Ibanez belted a three-run homer; allowed four earned runs on a season-high 11 hits; struck out seven, walked two.

INDIANS: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 5.18 ERA, 1.77 WHIP)

Ubaldo Jimenez

The 28-year-old Jimenez, in his seventh major league season and second with the Indians, will be making his eighth start and first against the Mariners.

A native of Nagua, Dominican Republic, Jimenez was signed by the Colorado Rockies as an amateur free agent in 2001.

After pitching in the Colorado system for five years, Jimenez made his major league debut Sept. 26, 2006 in an 11-4 Colorado loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jimenez worked one inning of relief, allowing two hits.

Jimenez split the 2007 season between the majors (15 starts) and minors, finally becoming a fixture in Colorado’s rotation in 2008 when he went 12-12 in 34 starts.

Jimenez won 15 games in 2009 and posted his best year in 2010 when he went 19-8 (2.88) and led the National League in winning percentage at .704. Jimenez made the American League All-Star team in 2010 and finished third in Cy Young voting.

On July 30, the Rockies traded Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later, Joseph Gardner (minors), Matt McBride (minors) and Alex White. The Indians sent Drew Pomeranz (Aug. 16, 2011) to the Rockies to complete the trade. After the deal, Jimenez went 4-4, 5.18 ERA for the Tribe in 11 starts.

Jimenez has a career record of 63-52, 3.82.

  • 2012: Jimenez has worked into the sixth inning in four of his seven starts, but has been inconsistent all year. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs three times, but four or more four times. Walks have been a problem. Jimenez has issued 30, most in the American League.
  • LAST START: May 11 at Boston, was the losing pitcher when Boston defeated Cleveland 7-5; allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings; had four strikeouts, but issued five walks.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: June 12, 2009, defeated Seattle and Jarrod Washburn at Coors Field 6-4; allowed four runs on nine hits in a complete game, striking out three.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: Only game.
  • AT PROGRESSIVE FIELD: 3-3, 2.78 ERA in eight games, all starts, covering 55.0 innings; averages 7.85 strikeouts per nine innings pitched; has given up five home runs.
  • LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Jimenez has faced only two active Mariners, Brendan Ryan (1-for-8) and Ichiro (1-for-5).

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 23 14 .622 10-8 13-6 5-5 Lost 2
Athletics 19 18 .514 4.0 9-10 10-8 6-4 Lost 1
Angels 16 21 .432 7.0 10-9 6-12 6-4 Won 1
Mariners 16 22 .421 7.5 7-8 9-14 5-5 Lost 2

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three in New York, two in Boston, two in Cleveland (Wednesday-Thursday), three in Colorado (Friday-Sunday).
  • MARINERS VS. INDIANS: Mariners 158-201 all-time vs. the Indians, including 78-103 at Progressive Field. Mariners won 2011 series 5-4, including 4-2 in Cleveland. Mariners also won 2010 series 4-3.
  • LATEST: The Mariners are 1-4 on this 10-game road trip . . . Dustin Ackley, 1-for-4 Tuesday, extended his hitting streak to 11 games, longest by a Mariner in 2012 . . . The Mariners had four hits against Josh Beckett Tuesday, including two singles by Ichiro . . . The Mariners whiffed 10 times Tuesday (two each by Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders), the 10th time in 2012 they have fanned 10+ times in a game (high 15 vs. White Sox April 20) . . . The four innings posted by Blake Beavan Tuesday marked the shortest non-injury start of his career . . . Over their past 11 road games, the Mariners are 6-for-72 (.083) with runners in scoring position . . . Brendan Ryan is in an 0-for-15 slide and batting .140. He did not play Tuesday . . . Mariners have been shut out five times in 2012 . . . By the time the Mariners return to Seattle May 21, they will have played 28 road games vs. 15 at home.
  • SERIES/STREAKS: Series Record: Won 5, split 0, lost 7; Sweeps: 1; Swept: 2. Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27). Longest Losing Streak: 7 (April 28-May 4). Vs. AL East: 2-10; Vs. AL Central: 8-7; Vs. AL West: 6-5.
  • BATTING: Mariners rank 11th (AL) in runs (141), 12th in hits (297), seventh in doubles (62), ninth in triples (5) and 10th in home runs (32) . . . Rank 13th in batting average (.233), 14th in on-base percentage (.287), 12th in slugging (.364) and 13th in OPS (.651) . . . batting 68-for-298 (.228) with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-3 Tuesday . . . out-homered 42-32 . . . left 233 men on base, opponents 233 . . .scored 136 runs, opponents 154 . . . scored 74 of 136 runs in the first four innings . . . Mariners 13-5 when scoring 4+ runs . . . Mariners have homered in 13 of last 21 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: Dustin Ackley has Seattle’s longest hitting streak at 11consecutive games (May 3-present). Jesus Montero and Miguel Olivo had eight-game hitting streaks, Montero from March 29-April 14, Olivo from 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 eighth in ERA (3.98), fifth in hits allowed (302), seventh in runs allowed (154), 11th in home runs allowed (42), fourth in walks (107), seventh in strikeouts (266) . . . 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 (2-for-4 Tuesday) has 765 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 T97 on career hits list (2,472), tied with Ted Simmons. . . 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 will play 15 games in the next 15 days. Their next day off is June 7 . . . 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; plantar fascitis), Adam Moore (15-day, March 28, fractured wrist).
  • EX-MARINERS VS. CURRENT MARINERS: April 19, Jack Hannahan, Indians, 2-run single in ninth off Brandon League in Tribe’s 2-1 win; April 28, Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays, one earned run over 7.0 innings in 7-0 win; May 11, Raul Ibanez, Yankees, 3-run homer off Felix Hernandez in 6-2 win; May 12, Raul Ibanez, Yankees, solo homer off Hector Noesi in 6-2 win; May 15, David Ortiz, Red Sox, solo homer off Blake Beavan in 5-0 Red Sox win.

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.
  • May 9: When John Jaso batted leadoff against Detroit, it marked the first time since 1978 that a catcher had hit first for the Marines (Bob Stinson). Oddly, lefty Jaso led off against Tiger lefty Drew Smyly.

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
16-22 7-8 9-14 3-8 12-16 11-20 5-3 12-9 4-13

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.233 .205 .248 136 32 .287 .364 .651 .228

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
16-21 3.98 334.1 154 147 42 .241 .305 .396

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/16 Wed at Cle Felix Hernandez (3-2, 2.29) vs. Ubaldo Jiminez (3-3, 5.18)
5/17 Thr at Bos Hector Noesi (2-4, 6.32) vs. Zach McAllister (1-1, 4.15)
5/18 Fri at Col Kevin Millwood (1-4, 5.09) vs. Alex White (0-2, 6.75)

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 W, 2-1 15-18 W: Vargas (4-2); L: Putkoen (0-1)
34 5/11 at NYY L, 6-2 15-19 W: Kuroda (3-4); L: Hernandez (3-2)
35 5/12 at NYY L, 6-2 15-20 W: Hughes (3-4); L: Noesi (2-4)
36 5/13 at NYY W, 6-2 16-20 W: Millwood (1-4); L: Pettitte (0-1)
37 5/14 at Bos L, 6-1 16-21 L: Lester (2-3); L: Vargas (4-3)
38 5/15 at Bos L, 5-0 16-22 W: Beckett (3-4); L: Beavan (1-4)
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. LAA
48 5/25 vs. LAA
49 5/26 vs. LAA
50 5/27 vs. LAA
51 5/28 at Tex
52 5/29 at Tex
53 5/30 at Tex

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