After a sparkling performance by Joe Saunders Monday at Safeco Field, the Mariners are in position to win four in a row when they contest the Orioles Tuesday.
GAME: Orioles (15-11, 3rd, AL East, -3.5 GB) at Mariners (12-16, 3rd, AL West, -5.5 GB). GAME #: 29. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 2nd (Mariners lead 1-0). WHEN: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 3; Orioles L 2. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Based on a unanimous vote by the NBA’s relocation committee Monday, which advised that the Sacramento Kings should stay where they are, Seattle probably won’t be acquiring an NBA franchise any time soon, dashing the hopes of thousands who loathe commissioner David Stern and still rue the 2008 loss of the Sonics. It’s probably not a whole lot of consolation that the Mariners have won three in a row for the first time this season.
While winning three in a row is not a big deal anywhere else, where the Mariners are concerned it’s practically epic stuff, which says a lot about the Mariners, none of it good.
The Mariners won two straight to start the season, but didn’t win two more in a row until nearly a month had elapsed, prompting the flight of many fans who thought this season might amount to something more than the usual annual tooth grinder.
Now, with a 6-2 win over Baltimore Monday night at Safeco Field, the Mariners have a shot at actually winning four in a row when Seattle and Baltimore play the second of three Tuesday.
Brandon Maurer, apparently recovered from a pair botched starts to begin the season when his 16.20 ERA seemingly had him ticketed for some long minor-league bus rides, will be hard pressed to duplicate what “Safeco Joe” Saunders did Monday — pitch a complete game to improve to 8-0, 1.75 lifetime at Safeco Field.
But Maurer is 2-1, 1.89 in his last three starts and appears to be gaining confidence. Tuesday, he’ll face RHP Jason Hammels, who topped the Oakland Athletics in his last start. A closer look at the probables, neither of whom will ever be Kevin Durant:
MARINERS: RHP Brandon Maurer (2-3, 5.61 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
The 22-year-old Maurer, a Newport Beach, CA., native in his rookie season with the Mariners, will make his sixth start and first against the Orioles. Maurer, having made the jump from AA to the majors, lost his first two starts, posting a 16.20 ERA in his first 6.2 MLB innings. But he’s rebounded to win two of his past three, including his last one, when he pitched 6.1 scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels. The Mariners selected Maurer in the 23rd round of the 2008 amateur draft.
ORIOLES: RHP Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.82 ERA, 1.14 WHIP)
The 30-year-old Hammel, a Greenville, SC., native in his eighth major league season and second with the Orioles, will make his sixth start and first against the Mariners. A graduate of South Kitsap High, Hammel was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 10th round of the 2002 amateur draft. Hammel worked into the sixth inning in each of his starts and had his best outing April 13 when he defeated the Yankees 5-3, allowing 3 runs on eight hits. He will enter Tuesday’s game having won two of his past three starts.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|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)|
|5/3||Fri||at Tor||RHP Felix Hernandez (3-2) vs. TBA|
|5/4||Sat||at Tor||RHP Joe Saunders (1-3) vs. TBA|
|5/5||Sun||at Tor||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) vs. TBA|