Hisashi Iwakuma started the season 7-1, 1.79, then had a five-game winless streak, and has come back to win three in a row. He faces the Red Sox Wednesday night.
GAME: Mariners (50-56, 3rd, AL West, -12.5 GB) at Red Sox (64-44, 2nd,
AL East, -0.5 GB). GAME #: 107. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 6th (Red Sox lead 4-1). WHEN: Wednesday, 4:10 p.m., Fenway Park. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Red Sox W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Ssince July 1, the Mariners played seven series, compiling a 5-1-1 mark in those sets. The only smear on the ledger came July 8-11 when the Boston Red Sox showed up at Safeco Field and whipped Seattle three out of four. The most deflating defeat came July 9 when the Red Sox battered Hisashi Iwakuma with six earned runs on eight hits in a season-low 3.0 innings.
Iwakuma wound up taking a no-decision, but it tied a nasty bow on a five-game stretch in which Seattle’s No. 2 starter went winless and had a three-game losing streak.
Iwakuma has recovered nicely since that thumping, winning three in a row with five earned runs allowed in his past 20.0 innings. He held Minnesota without a run on four hits in 6.0 innings in his last outing while recording nine strikeouts with one walk.
Iwakuma gets another crack at Boston Wednesday night when the Mariners and Red Sox play the second of three at Fenway Park. Boston romped easily Tuesday, winning 8-2 behind a three-homer onslaught, two off Joe Saunders, who fell to 9-10.
Iwakuma will oppose John Lackey, who did not pitch last year due to Tommy John surgery and hasn’t faced the Mariners since 2011.
MARINERS: RHP Hisashi Iwalkuma (10-4, 2.87 ERA, 0.94 WHIP)
Iwakuma, a 32-year-old Tokyo native in his second major league season, both with Seattle, will make his 23rd start and second against the Red Sox. After five subpar outings, Iwakuma is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA over his last three starts, including six scoreless innings vs. the Twins last Thursday. He’s never pitched at Fenway and his only start against Boston lasted just 3.0 innings with six runs allowed July 9 in Seattle.
RED SOX: RHP John Lackey (7-9, 3.19 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
The 34-year-old Lackey, an Abilene, TX., native in his 11th major league season and third with Boston, will make his 19th start and first against the Mariners. Lackey, a long-time L.A. Angel, has dropped two in a row and three of his past four and gave up nine earned runs on 19 hits in the two most recent defeats. Lackey has pitched into the seventh inning in 10 of his 18 starts. He did not allow an earned run in back-to-back starts May 19 and May 24.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|7/31||Wed||at Bos||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (10-4) RHP John Lackey (7-8)|
|8/1||Thr||at Bos||RHP Felix Hernandez (11-4) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (6-8)|
|8/2||Fri||at Bal||RHP Aaron Harang (5-9) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (7-8)|
|8/3||Sat||at Bal||RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-0) vs. TBA|