The Mariners had a shot for a three-game sweep in Oakland for the first time since 2009, but botched it with a 10-2 loss. They have three in Anaheim starting Monday.
GAME: Mariners (31-39, 3rd, AL West, -10.5 GB) at Angels (30-39, 5th, AL West, -11.0 GB). GAME #: 71. SERIES: 1st of 4 games. MEETING: 7th (series tied 3-3). WHEN: Monday, 7:05 p.m., Angels Stadium. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Angels L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Aaron Harang sure is hard to figure. He lost five of his first six decisions with the Mariners after joining the rotation April 16, but has tossed two complete-game shutouts in his last four outings. And, during that stretch, May 27-June 11, Harang was shelled for six runs in a 2.1-inning outing against the New York Yankees.
The last time Harang pitched at Angels Stadium, where the Mariners begin a four-game series Monday night in a battle of underachievers, he lost 12-0, allowing seven earned runs in just 3.2 innings, a performance that had many calling for his ouster from the rotation. In response to that pummeling, Harang came back six days later and pitched a four-hit, complete-game, 9-0 shutout against San Diego.
No telling what will happen Monday to Harang, who seems to have the focus of a backyard butterfly, when he opposes former Mariner Jason Vargas, whom Seattle traded to the Angels last winter in order to acquire Kendrys Morales. No winner yet in that deal.
Morales is hitting a solid .287 with eight home runs while Vargas, after losses in his first three decisions, has won five of his past six.
From a standings perspective, this is a significant series for both clubs, although it won’t rock the larger baseball world. The Mariners will enter 31-39, 10.5 games behind the Athletics. The Angels are 30-39, 11 games back.
MARINERS: RHP Aaron Harang (3-6, 5.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
The 35-year-old Harang, a San Diego native in his 12th major league season and first with Seattle, will make his 11th start and third against the Angels. Before Harang picked up in late May, he dropped two starts to the Angels, 6-3 at Safeco Field April 26 and 12-0 at Angels Stadium May 21. Since that loss, Harang is 2-1 with a no-decision. The victories have been complete games.
ANGELS: LHP Jason Vargas (5-4, 3.74 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)
The 30-year-old Vargas, an Apple Valley, CA., native in his eighth major league season and first with the Angels, will make his 14th start and second against the Mariners, for whom he pitched from 2009-12. After winning five consecutive decisions between May 3-30, Vargas has a no-decision and a loss in his past two outings. Vargas pitched his best game against the White Sox May 19, holding Chicago without an earned run over seven innings.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|6/17||Mon||at LAA||RHP Aaron Harang (3-6) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (5-4)|
|6/18||Tue||at LAA||RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) vs. TBA|
|6/19||Wed||at LAA||LHP Joe Saunders (5-6) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (5-5)|
|6/20||Thr||at LAA||RHP Felix Hernandez (8-4) vs. RHP Tommy Hanson (4-2)|