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.
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.
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.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|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)|