The Seattle Mariners had a lot of confidence before departing on their most recent road trip. They were on a season-high seven game winning streak after sweeps of the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays at home. Before going on the road, they had improved to 50-57, their best mark since they went to 27-33 after their combined no-hitter over the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, trips to New York and Baltimore proved to be unkind to the surging Mariners. Seattle lost two of three to the Yankees, and they dropped all three games to the Orioles in Camden Yards.
The Yankee series. The Mariners had already seen the Bronx Bombers at the beginning of their last home stand. The result of that series was the same as this one; they dropped two out of three games. Felix Hernandez, though, continued to shine for Seattle. The Mariners won on Saturday 1-0 behind a complete game shut out from King Felix. Against the A.L. East leaders, Felix gave up two hits and struck out six. He moved up to 10-5 with an impressive 2.63 ERA. Over his last ten starts, Hernandez has been unbeatable going 6-0 with a 1.42 ERA with two wins over the Yankees and a win over Texas in that span. There was too much Yankees in the other two games, however, as New York won Friday 6-3 behind CC Sabathia and won 6-2 on Sunday behind former Mariner Freddy Garcia.
The Oriole series. As they moved south from the Bronx to take on the Orioles, the Mariners ran into a buzz saw as the Orioles are fighting for their Wild Card lives. The Orioles took all three games moving to 5-1 vs. Seattle on the season. Former Mariner Chris Tillman, who came over in the Erik Bedard deal, handcuffed Seattle in the series opener taking a shut out into the eighth inning in a 3-1 Oriole win. The offense got going for Seattle in Tuesday’s night affair, but they ended up on the wrong end of a 8-7 decision losing in 14 innings. Seattle had a 7-2 lead after the sixth inning, but they couldn’t hold it. Adam Jones, another former Mariner who went to Baltimore in the Erik Bedard deal, singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 14th. Baltimore completed the three-game sweep last night winning 9-2. They jumped all over Kevin Millwood, who fell to 1-4 in his last six starts. Millwood gave up seven ER and two home runs in 4.0 innings of work.
On the Horizon. Seattle, once seven away from getting back up to .500, now finds themselves at 51-62. The Mariners now finish up the nine-game road trip by going across the country for three in Los Angeles. The Angels lead the season series 5-2, but Seattle is 2-1 in Anaheim. Los Angeles of Anaheim needs every game, as they are 1.5 games out of the Wild Card and behind four other teams. Seattle’s rotation lines up nicely for this series led by the red-hot Felix Hernandez on Friday, Iwakuma on Saturday, and Jason Vargas on Sunday. The Angels will have three strong veterans going with Ervin Santana on Friday, Dan Haren on Saturday, and Cy Young candidate Jered Weaver on Sunday. Weaver has been brilliant coming off a D.L. stint. Since coming off the D.L., he has won all nine of his decisions and leads the A.L. in ERA at 2.13.