Preview: Cardinals at Mariners
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[June 24, 2016]
The Seattle Mariners are below
the .500 mark for the first time in two months and aim to halt a
season-worst six-game losing streak when they open a three-game
series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. The
Mariners have dropped 10 of their last 12 games and their decline
continued Thursday when they lost 5-4 to the Detroit Tigers on a
10th-inning wild pitch.
Nelson Cruz smashed two of Seattle's four solo homers in the latest
defeat that ended with Steve Cishek's bases-loaded wild pitch. Cruz
appeared rejuvenated after getting Wednesday off following a
2-for-21 funk over the previous five games. The Cardinals opened an
eight-game road excursion with a three-game sweep of the Chicago
Cubs and the sudden turnaround followed a season-worst five-game
losing streak. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina was hitless in 13
at-bats against the Cubs and is 1-for-20 over his last five games.
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), ROOT (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (7-5, 3.17 ERA) vs.
Mariners LH Wade LeBlanc (NR)
Martinez is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA over his past four starts and his
success comes after he lost five consecutive turns. He received a
no-decision in his last outing despite blanking the Texas Rangers on
four hits over seven innings. Martinez is 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA, 0.96
WHIP and .192 batting average against in five road starts this
[to top of second column]
LeBlanc was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday and is
starting in place of injured Taijuan Walker. The 31-year-old was 7-2
with a 1.71 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo and is 21-33 with a 4.47 ERA in
107 major-league appearances (71 starts) with five different teams.
"He's 31 years old, he’s been out there before," Seattle general
manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters of a pitcher he was around in
2014 when both were part of the Los Angeles Angels' organization.
"He knows the routine. He might not pitch well, but he won’t go out
there and panic."
1. The Cardinals are playing in Seattle for the first time since
2002 when they were shut out twice while losing two of three games.
2. Seattle 3B Kyle Seager is 7-for-48 over the past 12 games - with
four of the hits being homers.
3. St. Louis SS Aledmys Diaz was 6-for-11 with a homer in the sweep
of the Cubs.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 5, Mariners 3
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