After finishing a Midwest road trip strong against the Minnesota Twins, the Seattle Mariners have been down and then up in a roller coaster home stand. They dropped their first two games to the Angels, then defeated Jered Weaver for the second time this season. They rolled that momentum into a series with the struggling Red Sox, taking two of three. The 3-3 home stand puts the Seattle Mariners at 67-71. They are still four games short of that elusive .500 mark having treaded water on this home stand so far.
Angels series. In this three game set at Safeco Field, Mariner fans got to see two Cy Young candidates in Felix Hernandez and Jered Weaver. And, they both lost. After the Angels jumped all over the Mariners 9-1 in the series opener, they rallied against Hernandez on Saturday to make it two in a row. King Felix hadn’t lost since June 12th, but the Angels got to the Mariner ace for four runs in the eighth inning for a 5-2 victory. The Angels have owned Hernandez so far this season; he is 0-2 against the Halos with a 5.75 ERA. Seattle, though, avoided the sweep by defeating Weaver on Sunday 2-1. Jesus Montero powered the Seattle offense with a home run, his fourth in nine at-bats vs. Weaver. Hisashi Iwakuma, a midseason addition to the rotation, threw 7.1 scoreless innings to go 4-0 in his last five starts. Weaver lost to Seattle for the second time in a month, and the Mariners are the only team to beat him twice.
Red Sox series. Boston came into Seattle having lost six straight on a West Coast trip, including being outscored in their previous series vs. Oakland 33-5. Seattle kept the pressure on the stumbling Sox using great starting pitching to take two of three. On Labor Day, Jason Vargas notched his 14th win of the season in a 4-1 victory. Vargas has taken his place as Seattle’s No. 2 behind Felix Hernandez. He has notched a career high in wins by 4, and his WHIP is a career low at 1.17. Boston edged Seattle on Tuesday 4-3 to snap their skid, but Seattle captured the rubber game 2-1 last night. Kevin Millwood made a 2-RBI single for Dustin Ackley stand up, winning his first start in his last seven. Millwood handcuffed the Sox to four hits and one ER over 6 IP. With the win, Seattle matched their 2011 win total with 24 games remaining.
On the Horizon. Seattle ends their nine-game home stand by playing another team fighting for a Wild Card spot, the Oakland A’s. After winning nine in a row, the A’s are coming off getting swept at home by the Angels. Oakland, going into tonight’s games, are tied with Baltimore for the top spot with the Rays 1.5 games behind and the Angels 2.5 games behind. The Mariners have been sharp against the A’s this season leading the season series 7-6, but the two teams haven’t played since the series before the All-Star break.