Chris Young’s first start in the majors in 19 months was likely everything he and Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon could have hoped for.
The only thing missing was a victory.
After tossing six scoreless innings in his home debut with the Mariners, Young will look for similar success Friday night when slumping Seattle visits the also-struggling Miami Marlins for the opener of a three-game series.
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Young didn’t pitch last season because of continuing issues with his surgically repaired pitching shoulder and was released by Washington on March 25 before signing a one-year, $1.25 million contract with Seattle two days later.
That deal might look like a bargain if his first start since Sept. 29, 2012, was any indication.
Young tossed two spotless innings of relief against Oakland on April 6, then held the A’s to four singles Sunday before the Mariners’ bullpen faltered in a 3-0 loss.
"I was really, really pleased with his outing. He had some fatigue at the end. He was great for us," McClendon said. "I’m excited for him. I know he’s feeling good about his performance."
Young will try to end his club’s season-high three-game skid in this start. Robinson Cano and Seattle’s offense came to life in Thursday’s series finale against Texas, but it wasn’t enough in an 8-6 loss.
After plating 10 runs in their prior five games, the Mariners scored all six of their runs in the third inning. Three of those came on Cano’s first homer since signing his 10-year, $240 million contract in the offseason.
Seattle (7-8) heads into Miami having dropped five of six, but the Marlins (6-10) have lost nine of 10. They snapped an eight-game skid with an 11-2 drubbing of Washington on Tuesday before blowing a three-run lead in a 6-3 loss Wednesday.
The Marlins’ bullpen gave up three runs in the eighth inning and has a 7.27 ERA in the last eight games.
"We’re in a funk out there for whatever reason," manager Mike Redmond said. "Stuff like that just can’t happen late in the game. We’ve given up a lot of big hits late in the game, and those are crushers."
Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 4.19 ERA) will try to help the Marlins by building on the end of his Saturday outing in Philadelphia. The right-hander allowed four runs in his first three innings, then retired 11 straight batters before giving up a single to his final one in Miami’s 5-4, 10-inning loss.
Eovaldi pitched six scoreless innings in his only start against Seattle, a 1-0 loss June 8, 2012, while with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s 0-2 in five interleague outings despite putting up a 1.74 ERA.
Young is 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins, the most recent of which came Sept. 23, 2012.
The Mariners, 5-4 all-time against the Marlins, are visiting Miami for the first time since taking two of three from June 7-9, 2005.