GAME: Mariners (7-13, 4th, AL West, -6.0 GB) at Astros (5-13, 5th, AL West, -7.0 GB). GAME #: 21. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING: 4th (Astros lead 2-1). WHEN: Monday, 5:10 p.m., Minute Maid Park. STREAKS: Mariners L 3; Astros L 2. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
When the Mariners finished spring training with a Cactus League franchise-record 58 home runs, they fooled a lot of people into thinking they could contend for a playoff spot, perhaps even a division title. But the last week, if not the month of April to date, has demonstrated that the only race the Mariners are in is to see whether they, with an $83 million payroll, or the Houston Astros, with a $25 million outlay, are the American League's worst team.