After making an immediate impact in his return to the lineup,
Michael Saunders will try to help the Seattle Mariners add to their
dominance over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Before a 4-2 victory in the series opener Friday, Saunders was
limited to coming off the bench after his right middle fingernail
was spiked on a pickoff play in a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs a
The time off proved beneficial for Saunders as he hit his first
home run since May 4 and drove in a pair of runs while helping end
the Reds’ three-game win streak. He had four RBIs in his previous
“You don’t realize how much you need something so small until
you hurt it,” Saunders told the team’s website. “To hurt my
fingertip, it doesn’t sound like anything that would cause too much
trouble. But with what we do, our hands are everything, and it’s
made me realize how important your fingernail or fingertip really
The Mariners (38-48) are 3-1 on a six-game road trip after
dropping nine of 13. Seattle looks to keep its successful trek
going by improving to 5-0 all-time in Cincinnati and 10-1 overall
against the Reds (49-37).
Jeremy Bonderman (1-2, 4.05 ERA) will try to help while bouncing
back from his shortest outing since returning to the majors. The
right-hander gave up six runs in 3 1-3 innings of a 7-6 loss to the
Cubs on Sunday after posting a 1.42 ERA in his prior four
Bonderman was pounded for seven runs in three innings of a 9-4
loss in his only start against the Reds on May 19, 2006 while with
Detroit. He has never pitched in Cincinnati.
Mat Latos (7-2, 3.03) has gone 1-2 in his last three starts
despite a 2.79 ERA, getting four total runs of support and none in
two of the three games.
The right-hander gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2
loss to Texas on Sunday. He committed a throwing error on a squeeze
play in the fifth inning that allowed a second run to score.
Raul Ibanez, batting .370 with seven homers during an 11-game
hit streak, is 0 for 11 with four strikeouts all-time versus Latos,
his worst showing against any active pitcher. Brendan Ryan is 5 for
7 with a double against Latos.
Shin-Soo Choo has the most experience against Bonderman among
Reds players, going 4 for 13 with three doubles and a home run.
Choo’s RBI double in the fifth inning Friday was one of four
Cincinnati hits with two outs.
The Reds entered the game last in the major leagues with a .178
average with runners in scoring position and two outs.
“We have to get some two-out hits,” manager Dusty Baker told the
team’s official website. “We had some action. It’s kind of been
haunting us all year.”