After Friday night’s 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, the Mariners will send Felix Hernandez to the mound Saturday in search of his third win. He’ll oppose Joe Blanton.
GAME: Angels (9-13, 3rd, AL West, -6.5 GB) at Mariners (9-16, 4th, AL West, -8.0 GB). GAME #: 26. SERIES: 3rd of 4 games. MEETING: 3rd (series tied 1-1). WHEN: Saturday, 6:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Angels W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
It’s probably too early to say that Aaron Harang is a candidate to get designated for assignment, but Harang has at least walked halfway out on that plank in the three starts he’s made since replacing Blake Beavan at No. 5 in the rotation. In 12.2 innings, Harang has allowed 16 earned runs on 21 hits, including six homers, and sports an 11.37 ERA and 1.97 WHIP.
It’s also safe to say Harang is no longer on anyone’s fantasy team after allowing five earned runs with his first 58 pitches and exiting after three innings in what became a 6-3 Seattle loss to the Los Angeles Angels Friday night.
In part because of Harang’s dismal performances, the Mariners still have not won consecutive games since the first two contests of the season.
But it wasn’t all Harang’s fault Friday. The Mariners went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners stranded in an affair in which the only positives were that Seattle made a game of it after trailing 5-0 and Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games, longest in the majors this season.
The Mariners should be more competitive Saturday with Felix Hernandez (2-2) seeking his third victory — although he is just 6-12 in his career against the Angels. Hernandez will oppose Joe Blanton, who hasn’t pitched against the Mariners since 2008, but likely won’t have forgotten that he’s 5-0, 2.93 for his career at Safeco Field.
On the other hand, Blanton — 0-3, 7.84 ERA, 2.08 WHIP — is off to a start this season almost as bad as Aaron Harang’s. A closer look at the probables:
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (2-2, 2.08 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)
The 27-year-old Hernandez, a Venezuelan native in his ninth major league season, all with Seattle, will make his sixth start and first against the Angels. The 2010 Cy Young winner, who bounced back after two consecutive losses to win his last start, has worked into the sixth inning in each of his outings and has allowed three or fewer earned runs three times. He posted his most dominant outing April 17 in a no-decision against Detroit, fanning 12 for the ninth time in his career.
ANGELS: RHP Joe Blanton (0-3, 7.84 ERA, 2.08 WHIP)
The 32-year-old Blanton, a Bowling Green, KY., native in his 10th major league season and first with the Angels, will make his fifth start and first against the Mariners. Blanton is off to a rocky start with three consecutive losses, and a no-decision in his last outing, April 22 vs. Texas. He has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his starts and twice has been dinged for double figures in hits. Blanton, who began his career in 2004, has also pitched for Oakland, Philadelphia and the L.A. Dodgers.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|4/27||Sat||vs. LAA||RHP Felix Hernandez (2-2) vs. RHP Joe Blanton (0-3)|
|4/28||Sun||vs. LAA||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (0-2)|
|4/29||Mon||vs. Bal||LHP Joe Saunders (1-3) vs. TBA|
|4/30||Tue||vs. Bal||RHP Brandon Maurer (2-3) vs. RHP Jason Hammell (3-1)|
|5/1||Wed||vs. Bal||RHP Aaron Harang (0-3) LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-2)|