Padres-Mariners Preview

With a lackluster offense, the Seattle Mariners are waiting to

see if a light-hitting catcher with some pop and a rookie second

baseman with a dozen games of big league experience under his belt

will be back in the starting nine and able to contribute.

Miguel Olivo and Dustin Ackley could be in the lineup Sunday as

the Mariners close out interleague play with the finale of a

weekend set against the San Diego Padres.

After being limited to two hits in a 1-0 loss Saturday, the

Mariners are hitting a major league-worst .226 – nine points lower

than San Diego, which sits in 28th place. Greg Halman had a single

and double to keep Seattle (40-43) from being no-hit by Cory Luebke

and three relievers.

The lone run came about in bizarre fashion. The Padres’ Cameron

Maybin was mistakenly awarded a walk in the fifth inning after just

three balls were thrown by Doug Fister, and he later scored on

Alberto Gonzalez’s infield single.

“My plate umpire (Phil Cuzzi) thought his count was wrong. The

scoreboard had 3-2 and he thought he was wrong because when Maybin

took off for first, nobody said anything,” crew chief Tom Hallion

said. “The catcher didn’t react, the dugout didn’t react so he

thought he had the wrong count.”

While Hallion said the umpiring crew felt bad over the mix-up,

Mariners catcher Josh Bard said the team was also partly to

blame.

“At the end of the day it’s easy to sit there and point fingers

at people but we’ve got to score runs,” he said.

Seattle is last in the majors with 283 runs while San Diego is

29th with 286.

The Mariners could get a boost if Olivo and Ackley are ready to

play. Olivo has missed three games with a tight right hamstring,

while Ackley has sat out the last two with bruised ribs.

Olivo is hitting just .222, but leads Seattle with 12 homers.

Ackley is batting .300 in 12 games since being called up from the

minors.

Prior to Saturday’s win, San Diego (38-46) had scored four total

runs during a five-game losing streak against Seattle.

Mat Latos (5-8, 4.24 ERA), who overcame a sluggish performance

to get the win in his last start, gets the call for the Padres.

Latos dropped to 1-6 after losing at home to Seattle on May 20,

but has gone 4-2 since then.

Despite the winning record, the right-hander hasn’t been

particularly sharp in his last three outings, giving up a total of

11 runs and 25 hits in 17 innings while posting a 1-1 mark. He

surrendered three runs and seven hits over six innings Monday in a

4-3 win over Kansas City.

“I thought just the sharpness to Mat’s overall pitching was not

like we’ve seen it, but … he didn’t feel all that great

physically,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official

website.

Latos won his only career start at Safeco Field in 2010.

The Mariners will recall Blake Beavan from Triple-A Tacoma to

make his big league debut in the series finale. The right-hander,

acquired as part of the deal that sent Cliff Lee to Texas last

July, is 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA in 16 starts for the Rainiers.

Beavan takes over the rotation spot that opened Wednesday when

Erik Bedard landed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left

knee.