The Central Division White Sox dominated the Mariners in 2012, winning eight of nine games. Seattle opens a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field Friday afternoon.
GAME: Mariners (2-2, 3rd, AL West, -0.5 GB) at White Sox (2-1, T2, AL Central, -0.5 GB). GAME #: 5. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING: 1st (White Sox won 2012 series 8-1). WHEN: Friday, 5:10 p.m., U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago. STREAKS: Mariners L 2; White Sox L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Blake Beavan, Seattle’s No. 5 starter, didn’t have much of a spring, allowing 14 runs in 19.1 innings. But he had a strong second half in 2012, posting an 8-5 record with a 3.40 ERA in his final 14 outings following a midseason demotion to AAA Tacoma. Beavan’s goal now: build on that.
“I want to continue what I did in the second half last year,” Beavan said. “The second half is the pitcher I am. know I can do that again. It’s not rocket science. I figured out a lot of stuff when I got sent down and brought back up. A lot of it was confidence, trusting stuff. It’s not a fluke for me. I know I’m capable of doing that. I know I’m capable of repeating and being consistent all year long. Now, I just need to go do it.”
Too bad Beavan has to “go do it” Friday at U.S. Cellular Field, where the Mariners begin a three-game, weekend series, and where they have experienced nothing but pain over the past five years. The Mariners lost five of the six games they played at U.S. Cellular last year, and are 3-19 in the Windy City since 2008.
Beavan received one start at U.S. Cellular in 2012 and got beat 5-4 after allowing four earned runs in 5.0 innings. He also lost to the White Sox at Safeco Field 4-0 in his third start of the season.
Beavan has an interesting opposite Friday in Jose Quintana. He created a few waves last year when he posted a 2.04 ERA in his 10 appearances (eight starts) before the All-Star break. But after the break, Quintana ran out of gas and finished with a 5.01 ERA in the second half.
“I want to get back to where I was in the first half last year,” Quintana said.
MARINERS: RHP Blake Beavan (11-11, 4.43 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
The 6-foot-7 Beavan, who broke into the Mariners rotation last year and wound up making 11 starts after a four-start stint with the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, couldn’t have ended 2012 on a better note. On Oct 3, in the final regular-season game, he didn’t allow a run over 7.0 innings and was the winning pitcher in a 12-0 rout of the Angels. But he struggled to stick in the rotation during the spring, going 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA, and barely eked out the No. 5 job in the rotation. Beavan doesn’t overpower anybody, but relies on fastball command and keeping runners off base with one of the lowest walk rates in baseball.
WHITE SOX: LHP Jose Quintana (6-6, 3.76 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)
A 24-year-old native of Arjona, Colombia, Quintana originally signed with the New York Mets as an amateur free agent in 2006. He later spent a year in the Yankees’ system and signed with the White Sox as a free agent Nov. 9, 2011. After making his major league debut May 7, 2012 against Cleveland, Quintana piled up a ton of no-decisions but had a 5-3 record entering September. He lost three of his six starts to finish 6-6, marring an otherwise breakout campaign for the lefty. Quintana put in extra offseason work to strengthen his legs and get even better prepared for the full-season run.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|4/6||Sat||at CWS||RHP Felix Hernandez (1-0) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (2-2 in ’12)|
|4/7||Sun||at CWS||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (1-0) vs. LHP Chris Sale (1-0)|