An 8-3 loser to Texas Monday night, the Mariners will take a season-high four-game Safeco Field losing streak into Tuesday night’s game against Mariners killer Derek Holland.
GAME: Rangers (76-55, 1st, AL West, +2.5 GA) at Mariners (59-71, 3rd, AL West, -16.5 GB). GAME #: 131. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 18th (Rangers lead 10-7). WHEN: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 4; Rangers W 3. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
The Mariners will not have to contend with Yu Darvish in their final series of the season with the Texas Rangers. But they do have to endure several more innings from Derek Holland, which, as far as Seattle is concerned, is almost as bad. Holland is no Cy Young candidate, but he’s 8-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 12 career starts and four relief appearances against the Mariners.
He’s also coming into Safeco Field Tuesday night on a roll. Holland is 7-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 13 starts on the road this season, and he’s 0-3 with a 0.68 ERA lifetime in the Mariners ballpark.
Not what the Mariners need to see. The Rangers splattered them 8-3 Monday night in a game whose only positive feature for Seattle was Kyle Seager’s 20th home run. The main thrust was another sluggish performance by lefty Joe Saunders and Seattle’s bleak offense.
Saunders allowed seven runs on nine hits in 7.0 innings to fall to 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA in his last seven starts. These are the kinds of numbers that fired Aaron Harang Monday.
Equally galling from Seattle’s perspective is that Mariners’ hitters largely were taken to the woodshed Monday by Travis Blackley, a career reliever who had just been waived by Houston — not the Dodgers or Tigers, but the lowly Astros.
Seattle has lost a season-high four consecutive games at Safeco Field. In the four defeats, the Mariners have been outscored 22-5. Thirteen of the last 14 runs surrendered by the Mariners have come with two outs.
This places a lot of pressure on Hisashi Iwakuma Tuesday. Iwakuma has a good track record against the Rangers and will pitch against Holland seeking his third consecutive victory.
MARINERS: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.98 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)
The 32-year-old Iwakuma, a Tokyo native in his second major league season, both with Seattle, will make his 28th start and fifth against the Rangers. Iwakuma, 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA in four starts against the Rangers this season, has won consecutive starts for the first time since July 20 and July 25. Since July 14, Iwakuma has won five of seven decisions.
RANGERS: LHP Derek Holland (9-6, 2.95 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)
The 26-year-old Holland, a Newark, OH., native in his fifth major league season, all with Texas, will make his 27th start and fourth against the Mariners. Holland is 1-2 with a 2.61 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break. He is 7-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 13 starts on the road this season is coming off a no-decision in his last start when he allowed the Astros four hits over 6.0 innings.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|8/27||Tue||vs. Tex||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6) vs. LHP Derek Holland (9-6)|
|8/28||Wed||vs. Tex||RHP Felix Hernandez (12-7) vs. LHP Martin Perez (7-3)|