After Seattle’s 6-0 blanking of the L.A. Angeles Thursday night, the Mariners will take a little momentum into Friday’s second game of the four-game series at Safeco Field.
GAME: Angels (8-13, 3rd, AL West, -6.5 GB) at Mariners (9-15, 4th, AL West, -7.0 GB). GAME #: 25. SERIES: 2nd of 4 games. MEETING: 2nd (Mariners lead 1-0). WHEN: Friday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Angels L 2. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Leave it to the Mariners to deliver one of their best performances of the season on a night when most Seattle sports fans couldn’t have cared less. With local attention focused on the first round of the NFL draft, even though the Seahawks didn’t have a pick, rookie Brandon Maurer finally demonstrated why manager Eric Wedge had so much faith in the rookie who is making the jump from AA to the majors.
Maurer (2-3) worked 6.1 innings, allowed seven hits, fanned six and walked just one as the Mariners, who entered the game reeling from back-to-back losses to the Houston Astros, pinned a 6-0 defeat on the Los Angeles Angles, the only AL West team more disappointing so far than the Mariners.
Maurer and Seattle didn’t disappoint at all Thursday as the Mariners snapped a two-game losing streak. With Carlos Peguero banging a prodigious home run, Kyle Seager extending his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games, and Maurer dominating the Angels — he had a 16.20 ERA in his first two starts but has a 1.89 ERA to show for his last three — the Mariners partially atoned for a just-completed 1-5 road trip that included a dismal series loss to the lowly Astros.
Not only that, the Mariners recorded their fourth shutout in April, the most in the first month of a season since the 2003 club also had four (oddly, six of Seattle’s 24 games have been decided by shutout).
It will be up to Aaron Harang to keep things going Friday. So far, the Mariners have been no good at all keeping good things going. They have won two in a row just once this season — in the first two contests.
Signed by the Mariners to provide some stability to the back end of Seattle’s rotation, the 34-year-old Harang has not been up to the task, in fact far from it, evidenced by his 0-2 record and 10.24 ERA. With an ERA like that, he won’t be long for the rotation unless he can turn things around.
Harang will oppose lefty C.J. Wilson, who has a history of pitching well against the Mariners (11-5, 3.88 ERA career) and also has a good track record at Safeco Field (6-3, 3.09). A closer look at the probables:
MARINERS: RHP Aaron Harang (0-2, 10.24 ERA, 1.75 WHIP)
The 34-year-old Harang, a San Diego native in his 12th major league season and first with the Mariners, will make his third start and first against the Angels. Harang joined the Seattle rotation April 16 as a replacement for Blake Beavan, demoted to the bullpen, and allowed three earned runs in his initial start against Detroit. But the Texas Rangers shelled Harang in his last start and he’s now yielded 11 earned runs on 15 hits in two outings — ugly for even a No. 5 starter.
ANGELS: LHP C.J. Wilson (0-1, 4.13 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)
The 32-year-old Wilson, a Newport Beach, CA., native in his ninth major league season and second with the Angels, will make his fifth start and first against the Mariners. Wilson, who pitched for the Texas Rangers from 2005-11, has had no-decisions in three of his four outings. He collected his only victory April 14 against Houston, winning 4-1, after limiting the Astros to one earned run on five hits over 6.0 innings.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|4/26||Fri||vs. LAA||RHP Aaron Harang (0-2) vs. C.J. Wilson (0-1)|
|4/27||Sat||vs. LAA||RHP Felix Hernandez (2-2) vs. Joe Blanton (0-3)|
|4/28||Sun||vs. LAA||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) vs. Jason Vargas (0-2)|
|4/29||Mon||vs. Bal||LHP Joe Saunders (1-2) vs. TBA|