With Tuesday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Seattle Mariners’ streak of three consecutive series victories has been snapped. The Mariners would have had to win both games of the two-game series if they wanted to continue the streak to four.
The Mariners got a respectable performance from fifth starter Aaron Harang, who surrendered two runs in the first inning, but did not give Pittsburgh anything through his last five frames.
Seattle’s offense was not able to get anything done off of Jeanmar Gomez, who was replacing scheduled starter James McDonald, who was scratched before the game.
Hopefully, the Mariners will be able to give some run support to their ace Felix Hernandez, who is coming into this game with a lot of positive momentum. Hernandez has only allowed a total of two earned runs in his last 30 innings pitched and has also struck out 35 hitters in that stretch.
“He’s as good as there is,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said in praise of Hernandez to MLB.com. “He’s built for endurance. He’s got power, spin, changes speeds, local — the total package off the mound. A dominant pitcher.”
This will be Hernandez’s second career start against the Pirates. In his first start, Hernandez threw eight shutout innings and struck out nine opposing hitters. The Mariners has won seven of their last 11 games and they have been playing very solid baseball — getting swept by Pittsburgh would likely kill all of that momentum.
Luckily, manager Eric Wedge will have his best pitcher on the hill to try to prevent a sweep from happening, and the Mariners can bring some momentum back home for a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics.