The Mariners catch one major break this week: They won’t have to face Yu Darvish when they play a three-game series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.
GAME: Mariners (35-47, 4th, AL West, -13.0 GB) at Rangers (48-34, 1st, AL West, +0.5 GA). GAME #: 83. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING: 11th (Rangers lead 7-3). WHEN: Tuesday, 5:05 p.m., Rangers Ballpark. STREAKS: Mariners L 2; Rangers W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
The Mariners concluded an eight-game, three-team, 10-day home stand Sunday with a 7-6 thud against the Cubs (after trailing 7-1), a club with a record (35-45) only slightly less dismal than Seattle’s (35-47). Now the Mariners are in Arlington, TX., to face the Rangers and that doesn’t bode well, either. Not only have the Rangers taken seven of the 10 games between the teams this season, but Joe Saunders, Tuesday’s starter, always has trouble in Lone Star country.
This is how much: Saunders is 0-7, 9.91 ERA in seven career starts at Rangers Ballpark, making it the venue in which he most hates to pitch. To make matters worse, Saunders isn’t exactly oozing confidence, coming off an outing against Pittsburgh in which he lasted just 1.2 innings, a season low. He’s also 1-6, 6.46 in eight road starts this season.
The Mariners have not generated much offense against the Rangers this year, averaging 2.5 runs per game. Texas outscored Seattle 51-25.
The Mariners catch one break. They won’t have to face stud starter Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.78 ERA), the American League leader in strikeouts with 151. But they will have to face Justin Grimm and Derek Holland, who are a combined 10-2 lifetime against Seattle.
Saunders opposes Grimm, who has already defeated Seattle twice this season. A closer look:
MARINERS: LHP Joe Saunders (5-8, 4.98 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)
The 32-year-old Saunders, a Fairfax, VA., native in his ninth major league season and first with Seattle, will make his 17th start and fourth against the Rangers. Saunders is 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA in three starts against Texas this and has been battered in two of them. In his last outing, hr gave up three homers and six runs to the Pirates after he’d put up a 1.82 ERA over his previous five starts.
RANGERS: RHP Justin Grimm (7-5, 5.56 ERA, 1.51 WHIP)
The 24-year-old Grimm, a Bristol, TN., native in his second major league season, both with Texas, will make his 15th start and fourth against the Mariners. Grimm is 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA in three starts against the Mariners. He won his last two starts despite going 5.0 innings in each. He is 5-2 despite a 6.55 ERA in his last eight starts.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|7/2||Tue||at Tex||LHP Joe Saunders (5-8) vs. RHP Justin Grimm (7-5)|
|7/3||Wed||at Tex||RHP Felix Hernndez (8-4) vs. LHP Derek Holland (6-4)|
|7/4||Thr||at Tex||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-3) vs. LHP Martin Perez (2-1)|