Thumped 13-4 Saturday at the Great American Ballpark, the Mariners close out their three-game series with the Reds Sunday in a breakfast start — 10:10 a.m.
GAME: Mariners (38-49, 4th, AL West, -12.5 GB) at Reds (50-37, 3rd, NL Central, -3.5 GB). GAME #: 88. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING: 3rd (series tied 1-1). WHEN: Sunday, 10:10 a.m., Great American Ballpark. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Reds W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
One of the odder storylines early in the season involved the success lefty Joe Saunders had at Safeco Field, when he became “Safeco Joe,” vs. the nightmares he endured on the road. At one point, Saunders had a 4-1 record at home, but had lost six straight on the road with an ERA that topped 11.00. But he’s started to turn that around.
Saunders is 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA in his last four outings away from Seattle, including his first win ever at Texas in a 9-2 victory Tuesday. Sunday, he’ll have a chance to make it 3-1 when the Mariners and Reds close out their three-game series at the Great American Ballpark.
The Mariners would be looking at a sweep Sunday if they had been able to protect a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning. But they allowed the Reds to score nine runs with two outs while going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, which led to an embarrassing 13-4 loss. Seattle can still win the series, but is still seeking its first three-game wining streak since May 1-4, and also its first sweep of the season.
Saunders has no history of success against the Reds with an 0-2, 6.04 ERA in four career starts. His Sunday opposite, Bronson Arroyo, is 1-1, 1.50 ERA in four games against Seattle, but hasn’t seen the Mariners since June 24, 2007, when a Seattle lineup that included Jose Vidro, Ben Broussard, Jose Lopez and Richie Sexson defeated him 3-2. Dark days those: Miguel Batista started for Seattle.
MARINERS: LHP Joe Saunders (6-8, 4.74 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)
The 32-year-old Saunders, a Fairfax, VA., native in his ninth major league season and first with Seattle, will make his 18th start and first against the Reds. Saunders has two wins and two losses in his last four starts and is coming off a 9-2 win at Texas, despite giving up 10 hits. He will be looking to win back-to-back road starts for the first time this season.
REDS: RHP Bronson Arroyo (7-6, 3.50, 1.17 WHIP)
The 36-year-old Arroyo, a Key West, FL., native in his 15th major league season and eighth with Cincinnati, will make his 18th start and first against the Mariners. Arroyo pitched all six innings in an 8-1 win over the Giants that was called because of rain Monday. He allowed two hits and one run, marking a big turnaround after giving up seven runs in four innings to the A’s.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|7/7||Sun||at Cin||LHP Joe Saunders (6-8) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (7-6)|
|7/8||Mon||vs. Bos||RHP Felix Hernandez (8-4) vs. LHP Jon Lester (8-4)|
|7/9||Tue||vs. Bos||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4) vs. RHP Allen Webster (1-2)|
|7/10||Wed||vs. Bos||RHP Aaron Harang (4-7) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (5-3)|
|7/11||Thr||vs. Bos||RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-3) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (5-8)|