BY SPNW Staff 06:44AM 05/29/2013

#53: Mariners, Padres Move Show To Petco

The Mariners had a chance Tuesday to win three in a row for the first time since May 1-4, but couldn’t get it done in a 6-1 loss to the San Diego Padres.

The Mariners open a two-game series at Petco Park in San Diego Wednesday night following a two-game series between the clubs at Safeco Field. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (22-30, 4th, AL West, -10.0 GB) at Padres (23-28, 4th, NL West, -6.5 GB) GAME #: 53. SERIES: 1st of 2 games. MEETING: 3rd (series tied 1-1). WHEN: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m., Petco Park. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Padres W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network

Seattle’s No. 3 starter, Joe Saunders, has called the disparity between his home and road records — 3-1, 2.45 ERA at Safeco, 0-4, 11.25 away from it — a “fluke.” Saunders will get another opportunity to show that what he calls a fluke really isn’t a trend when the Mariners and San Diego Padres play the first of two at Petco Park Wednesday.

Saunders has a decent record in San Diego, sporting a 2-2 mark with a 2.86 ERA in five career starts, and he has held current Padres hitters to a .305 on-base percentage. But in order to have any chance Wednesday, he’ll have to get better run support than Brandon Maurer received Tuesday, when Seattle lost 6-1 victory to end a two-game winning streak.

The Mariners Wednesday will face Eric Stults, a pitcher they have never seen. Stults began his career in the Dodgers organization and has also pitched for the Rockies and White Sox. A closer look:


MARINERS: LHP Joe Saunders (3-5, 6.09 ERA, 1.64 WHIP)

The 31-year-old Saunders, a Fairfax, VA., native in his ninth major league season and first with Seattle, will make his 11th start and first against the Padres. Saunders had the veneer of invincibility at home stripped away by losing his last start at Safeco Field, and now heads back on the road where he’s 0-4, 11.25 ERA. Saunders has allowed 30 of his 39 earned runs away from Safeco Field.

  • LAST START: May 24 at Safeco Field, lost to Texas 9-5; 6 earned runs on 8 hits in 5.0 innings; 7 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 home runs, 95 pitches, 56 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. PADRES: April 11, 2012, pitching for Arizona, took a no-decision in the D-Backs’ 2-1 loss; 0 earned runs on 4 hits in 7.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 102 pitches, 57 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. PADRES: 5-3, 2.67 ERA in 9 starts covering 64.0 innings; 27 strikeouts, 14 walks, 7 home runs, 1.14 WHIP.
  • AT PETCO PARK: 2-2, 2.86 ERA in 5 starts covering 34.2 innings; 15 strikeouts, 11 walks, 4 home runs, 1.18 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Carlos Quentin (0-for-6, .000), Logan Forsythe (1-for-7, .143), Cameron Maybin (2-for-14, .143).
  • HATES TO FACE: Everth Cabrera (2-for-3, .667), Chase Headley (7-for-19, .368), Will Venable (1-for-3, .333).
  • CURRENT PADRES VS. SAUNDERS: 27-for-108, .250 BA, 10 strikeouts, 9 walks, 1 home run, .305 on-base percentage.

PADRES: LHP Eric Stults (4-4, 4.22 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

The 33-year-old Stults, a Plymouth, IN., native in his seventh major league season and second with San Diego, will make his 11th start and first against the Mariners. Stults has alternated wins and losses all season. He pitched his best game May 18 against Washington, holding the Nationals to one earned run on four hits in 8.0 innings.  He’s worked into the seventh inning five times.

  • LAST START: May 24 at Arizona, lost 5-2; 4 earned runs on 6 hits in 6.1 innings; 2 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 94 pitches, 61 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: Never faced.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: No record.
  • AT PETCO PARK: 6-2, 3.74 ERA in 11 starts covering 65.0 innings; 44 strikeouts, 18 walks, 8 home runs, 1.26 WHIP.
  • LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Stults has faced one current Mariner, Endy Chavez, who is 1-for-3 (.333).


  • CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Two at San Diego (Wednesday-Thursday) and three at Minnesota (Friday-Sunday). The Mariners are amid 20 games in 20 days with their next day off June 13.
  • Kendrys Morales extended his hitting streak to eight games and is batting .472 over the stretch. Morales has registered a hit in 19 of his past 22 games, batting .356 over the span.
  • Nick Franklin, summoned from Tacoma two days ago, made his first major league start Tuesday. He went 0-for-4 but reached on a fielder’s choice.
  • Brendan Ryan had his six-game hitting streak snapped. During the streak, he hit .409. Ryan has hit in 11 of his past 13.
  • The Padres are 7-3 in their past 10 games in Seattle.


Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/29 Wed at SD LHP Joe Saunders (3-5) vs. LHP Eric Stults (4-4)
5/30 Thr at SD RHP Felix Hernandez (5-3) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (3-2)
5/31 Fri at Minn RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-5)
6/1 Sat at Minn RHP Aaron Harang (2-5) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (5-4)
6/2 Sun at Minn RHP Brandon Maurer (2-6) vs. LHP Scott Diamond (3-4)
6/3 Mon vs. CWS LHP Joe Saunders (3-5) vs. LHP John Danks (0-0)
6/4 Tue vs. CWS RHP Felix Hernandez (5-4) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (6-2)
6/5 Wed vs. CWS RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-3)



  • Leon Russell

    If Saunders is really the M’s #3 starter, as you wrote, then why is he always pitching in the #5 position, after all four other starters?

    • Steve Rudman

      He started the season at No. 3 behind Felix and Iwakuma. Due to Beavan going down, Harang signing etc., there’s been a shuffle. Doesn’t really matter much now.

  • jafabian

    Maurer sent down; Liddi called up. Should get Bonderman up here.

  • Don’t know how much Bonderman would help. He wasn’t getting anyone out in Spring Training and a 2-4 record with a 4.52 ERA in Tacoma isn’t exactly comforting.

    I’d rather see them give the ball to Oliver Perez to see what he can do with a start or two. He’s had success in MLB as a starter, so why keep wasting him as a middleman when every starter not named Felix or Hisashi is getting lit up like Lindsay Lohan on a bender?

    If it doesn’t work, put him back in the bullpen and try something else. But what they’re doing with the 3-5 slots in the rotation hasn’t been working and now they’ve burned up an option on Maurer.