Mariners-White Sox Preview
The Seattle Mariners have gone through a few periods this season
when they couldn’t win a game. They much prefer their latest
stretch, where one loss never leads to another.
The Mariners have won six straight series for the first time in
a decade, and they should feel good about their chances for a
strong start against the host Chicago White Sox on Monday night as
rookie phenom Michael Pineda opposes the winless John Danks.
Seattle (31-28) lost seven consecutive games in early April,
four straight in the middle of that month and six in a row again in
May, so manager Eric Wedge’s team knows a thing or two about
Right now, though, the Mariners are playing as well as any team
in the majors. They’ve followed all six of their losses since May
13 with a victory, and pulled out their sixth consecutive series
Sunday, bouncing back from another defeat. Seattle blew a 5-3 lead
in the eighth, but Miguel Olivo’s tiebreaking three-run shot in the
bottom of the inning provided a 9-6 victory.
“The guys dug deep today,” Wedge told the Mariners’ official
website. “And that’s what you need to do. That’s just part of the
process. You play it all the way through. … Our guys are doing a
(heck) of a job of that right now.”
It’s been 10 years since Seattle’s played so consistently. The
last time the Mariners won this many series in a row was during
their 116-win 2001 season, when they reeled off an incredible 14
consecutive series victories from July 27-Sept. 20.
The losses have mounted for Seattle on Chicago’s South Side
recently, however. The Mariners have lost eight consecutive games
and 12 of 13 overall at U.S. Cellular Field, and they dropped their
fourth straight series to the White Sox (28-33) by losing two of
three last month in Seattle.
Ozzie Guillen’s team, which is 1-2 on its 10-game homestand
after Sunday’s 7-3 loss to Detroit, had the luxury of avoiding
Pineda (6-2, 2.30 ERA) at Safeco Field, though.
It won’t miss him Monday. Pineda has pitched seven innings and
allowed one run or fewer in three of four starts, though he left
without a decision with that exact line in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to
The right-hander has had quality starts in all five of his
outings on the road, where opponents are hitting .193 against
“God-willing he stays healthy, I’ve said (he would be) Rookie of
the Year since spring training,” shortstop Brendan Ryan said. “His
stuff is just so good. He just pounds the zone, and it looked like
he found his slider … if that’s on, it’s pretty much good
Danks (0-8, 5.25) hasn’t had many good nights in 2011, and his
performance May 29 at Toronto certainly ranked as his worst. The
left-hander gave up nine runs and nine hits – including three
homers – over four innings in a 13-4 loss as he became the first
White Sox pitcher since Eddie Smith in 1942 to start 0-8.
Smith lost his first 10 decisions that season.
“I’m excited to get back out there. It has been a long seven or
eight days, so it’s good to get a little bit of a breather,” Danks
told the White Sox’s official website. “But at the same time, I
want to get back out there and try to make up for the last
His recent history against the Mariners indicates he’ll have an
excellent chance to do so. Danks is 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA in five
starts versus Seattle since the 2009 All-Star break.