Aaron Harang, impossible to figure this season, will face the Oakland Athletics Saturday night at Safeco Field and try to get Seattle back on track after three consecutive losses. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest
GAME: Athletics (44-32, 1st, AL West, +1.0 GA) at Mariners (32-43, 4th, AL West, -11.5 GB). GAME #: 76. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 12th (Mariners lead 6-5). WHEN: Saturday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 3; Athletics W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
No telling what Aaron Harang is going to do when he takes the mound these days, but based on the breadcrumbs he’s strewn since his May 27 start against San Diego, it could be anything from a complete-game shutout (two in last five outings) to a shelling. During the stretch, Harang has won 9-0 while pitching like a vintage Pedro Martinez and lost 11-3, generating nasty echoes of Jeff Weaver and Carlos Silva.
Based on his last, the 11-3 shellacking in which he allowed 12 hits in 5.0 innings, Harang is due for a good one, although he’ll probably cross everyone up and throw a bad one.
Due to the irregularities of the rotation, Harang has not faced the Oakland Athletics this season. In fact, in his 12 major league seasons, Harang has faced the A’s once. He lost.
The Mariners can ill-afford another one as they further sink into irrelevancy. They dropped their third in a row Friday night to commence an eight-game home stand, and did so with Hisashi Iwakuma losing his second in a row after giving up three home runs. The Mariners are 11.5 games behind the Athletics in the AL West.
Harang’s Saturday opponent, Dan Straily, lost his only start against the Mariners this season, giving up six runs on six hits in five frames.
MARINERS: RHP Aaron Harang (3-7, 5.73 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
The 35-year-old Harang, a San Diego native in his 12th major league season and first with Seattle, makes his 12th start and first against the Athletics. Harang, who started the season by losing his first three outings, has been all over the board in his last four. He followed a complete-game shutout May 22 with a no-decision and a 6-1 loss administered by New York. After throwing another complete game June 11, he was raked for four runs on 12 hits.
- LAST START: June 17, lost to the Angels 11-3; 4 earned runs on 12 hits in 5.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 home run, 87 pitches, 57 for strikes.
- LAST VS. ATHLETICS: June 19, 2012, lost 3-0; 3 runs on 3 hits in 3.2 innings; 6 strikeouts, 8 walks, 0 home runs, 105 pitches, 60 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. ATHLETICS: Same as last vs. Athletics.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 4-4, 2.80 ERA in 9 starts covering 54.2 innings; 50 strikeouts, 11 walks, 5 home runs, 0.89 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Josh Reddick (0-for-2, .000), Jemile Weeks (0-for-2, .000), Seth Smith (2-for-12, .167).
- HATES TO FACE: Brandon Moss (3-for-6, .500), Chris Young (6-for-22, .273), Coco Crisp (2-for-8, .250).
- CURRENT ATHLETICS VS. HARANG: 15-for-54, .278 BA, 8 strikeouts, 11 walks, 5 home runs, .400 on-base percentage.
ANGELS: RHP Dan Straily (4-2, 4.97 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)
The 24-year Straily, a Redlands, CA., native in his second major league season, both with Oakland, will make his 12th start and second against the Mariners. After winning back-to-back starts May 21 and May 27, Straily has three no-decisions in his past four outings. He hasn’t won since June 12 when he beat the Yankees 5-2.
- LAST START: June 17 at Texas, took a no-decision in Oakland’s 8-7 loss; 6 earned runs on 8 hits in 4.2 innings; 1 strikeout, 1 walk, 2 home runs, 82 pitches, 55 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: May 10 at Safeco Field, lost 6-3; 6 earned runs on 6 hits in 5.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 home run; 95 pitches, 58 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 0-1, 8.68 ERA in 2 starts covering 9.1 innings; 7 strikeouts, 8 walks, 3 home runs, 1.82 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 0-1, 10.80 ERA in 1 start covering 5.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 home run, 2.00 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Brendan Ryan (0-for-2, .000), Michael Saunders (1-for-4, .250).
- HATES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (2-for-3, .667), Kendrys Morales (4-for-8, .500), Justin Smoak (1-for-3, .333).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. STRAILY: 12-for-38, .316 BA, 7 strikeouts, 9 walks, 5 home runs, .447 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Three vs. Oakland (Friday-Sunday), two vs. Pittsburgh (Tuesday-Wednesday), three vs. Chicago Cubs (Friday-Sunday). Following the home stand, the Mariners have a six-game road trip through Texas and Cincinnati.
- Hisashi Iwakuma’s loss to Oakland Friday night was his first setback at Safeco Field this season. The three home runs allowed were a season high.
- Nick Franklin’s three-run homer Friday was the first such shot of his major league career.
- Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak to six games with a sixth-inning single. He’s batting .346 during the streak.
- The Mariners have eight blown saves over the past month after only two in the first 44 games of the season.
- Final note on Thursday’s 10-9 loss at Anaheim: The Mariners held 7-0 and 8-1 leads before losing. The seven-run blown lead in a loss tied for the second-largest in franchise history (last, April 17, 2012 vs. Cleveland, led 8-1, lost 9-8), and trailed only a 12-run blown lead, also vs. Cleveland, Aug. 5, 2001 (led 14-2, lost 15-14).
- The Mariners Friday signed two more selections from the 2013 June amateur draft, second-round choice Austin Wilson from Stanford University and 13th-round pick Lachlan Fontaine, a third baseman from Sutherland Secondary School in Vancouver, B.C. The Mariners have signed 30 of their 40 picks in the draft.
||RHP Aaron Harang (3-7) vs. RHP Dan Straily (4-2)
||RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) vs. RHP Jarrod Parker (6-6)
||LHP Joe Saunders (5-7) vs. LHP Jeff Locke (6-1)
||RHP Felix Hernandez (8-4) vs. TBA