As the Mariners departed for Texas, they were coming off a solid home stand where they went 4-6. Texas was not as kind to the Mariners as they were swept by the Rangers and lost two out of three to the Astros, their second series loss to the Astros this season. At 8 up and 15 down, the Mariners are hardly at the stage they hoped to be at this early in the 2013 season. After the 1-5 road trip, the Mariners head back home, again getting no off days having only had one day this whole season, for seven in a row at home: 4 vs. the Angels and 3 vs. the Orioles.
The Good: Felix Hernandez earned win no. 100 as the Mariners dominated in their one win on the road trip, a 7-1 win over Houston on Monday. Hernandez threw six shut out innings, striking out nine and allowing five hits, and got some much over due run support, leaving with a 7-0 lead. Kyle Seager got off to a slow start, but the Mariners 3B has hit safely in thirteen straight games to raise his average from .147 on April 10th to .284 now. During the road trip, Seager had 2 HRs and went 11-for-21. Kendrys Morales also hit 2 HRs during the road trip, both in Houston, and now sits at .253 with 3 HR and 9 RBI. Dustin Ackley, who started even slower than Seager, went 7-for-12 in the Houston series to rise from .091 on April 12th to .230 now.
The Bad: Joe Saunders doesn’t like pitching in Texas. Saunders lost two games on the trip, Friday in Texas and today in Houston, and his ERA went from 2.08 pre-trip to 6.33. Aaron Harang was unable to get to out of the fifth inning in his second start as a Mariner on Sunday, and the Texas Rangers completed the sweep winning 11-3. Harang, obtained in a mid-April trade with the Rockies, is now 0-2 with a 10.24 ERA going into the Anaheim series. The offense, though, hasn’t done Seattle any favors. In Texas, the Mariners scored only 3 runs, including get shut out twice. By the time they left Arlington, Seattle had been outscored 23-3, this just one weekend after splitting a four game set with the Rangers at Safeco Field. The Astros have been anything but a boon to Seattle joining the A.L. West. Houston, after winning their second series against Seattle, has more wins against Seattle (4-2) than they do the rest of MLB (3-12). Despite taking the series opener on Monday 7-1, Seattle was still outscored by Houston 14-12.
Even More Roster Moves: Seattle lost another OF to the disabled list when Franklin Gutierrez was placed on the DL with a strained hamstring. Gutierrez had gotten out of the gates well, batting .259 with 4 HR and 10 RBI in 16 games. The Mariners recalled Carlos Peguero from Tacoma. Peguero might give Seattle some pop in the OF, having 8 HR in 199 career ABs. Eric Wedge also announced today that Robert Andino will be the starting SS going forward for Seattle. Andino has been given a chance to hit his way into the position. Brendan Ryan has gotten off to a bad offensive start in April going 1-for his last 25 ABs. Seattle also addressed the need for another long reliever calling up Hector Noesi before the road trip. Noesi has already worked 4.0 IP out of the bullpen, allowing two hits and 0 ER.
4 vs. the Angels: Seattle hopes some home cooking will equal some wins as the Angels will face the Mariners for the first time this season. The Mariners went a respectable 8-11 vs. Los Angeles of Anaheim last season. The Angels will show some new faces, though, like Josh Hamilton and former Mariner Jason Vargas is slotted to make his first start against his former team on Sunday. The Angels have also gotten off slow in April, standing at 8-11 going into their game vs. Texas tonight. After the Tigers took two of three from Seattle, the Angels swept three straight from Detroit and have split their first two with the Rangers going into tonight’s game.