Called up Thursday, Mariners bad boy Jesus Montero was to get his first playing time in the majors this season Saturday night. Against Texas’s lefty starter, former Mariner Joe Saunders, Montero was the designated hitter in the No. 4 spot as the Mariners seek to end a four-game losing streak.
A failed catcher, a PED user and a renegade diner, Montero worked his way back up with decent production at AAA Tacoma and a spate of injuries in Seattle. With Corey Hart, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak all out, the Mariners are plugging holes with Montero and Logan Morrison, himself just off the DL and starting at first.
Also in the starting lineup was Willie Bloomquist, this time at shortstop, replacing Brad Miller against lefties.
Saunders, known as “Safeco Joe” with his great record in Seattle, is 8-1 with a 3.52 ERA in 15 starts against the Mariners in his career. Saunders’ teams are 13-2 vs. Seattle in winning 12 straight. Saunders has won seven consecutive decisions vs. M’s since start of 2008.
As a visitor, he has most wins without a loss (six) of any opposing starter in Safeco history.