After enduring a rough July at Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners are off to a strong start at home in August.
The Mariners look for a fourth consecutive home victory while trying to hand the Chicago White Sox a fourth straight defeat Friday night.
Seattle (60-54) totaled 30 runs while going 5-9 at Safeco last month, but has outscored Atlanta and Chicago 24-8 while winning its first three of August. Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano hit two of the four home runs Thursday for the Mariners, who matched a season high for runs in a 13-3 rout of the White Sox (55-61).
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Seager, who has hit all but three of his 17 home runs this season at home, is batting .434 with 26 RBIs in his last 27 games at Safeco. He’s 5 for 9 with two home runs and six RBIs in his last two home games versus Chicago.
Cano is batting .419 while hitting safely in his last nine games.
Seattle took advantage of a Chicago pitching staff that allowed double digits in runs for the third time in five games and has a 9.30 ERA while the club’s gone 2-5 in August. White Sox relievers have yielded 33 runs and 40 hits in 16 1-3 innings in their last five games.
”We’ve just got to pitch better,” manager Robin Ventura said.
Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.04 ERA) felt the sting of Chicago’s bullpen woes Sunday. He allowed an unearned run before leaving after five innings and two rain delays with a 3-1 lead that turned into a 16-3 loss to Minnesota.
Quintana, who has not factored in the decision in 37 of his 78 career starts, is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last nine outings.
The left-hander has 4.15 ERA without a decision in three starts – all at home – against the Mariners, but allowed four hits and struck out 10 over 7 2-3 innings of a 3-2, 14-inning defeat July 5.
While Cano is 3 for 10 versus Quintana, Seager is 1 for 7 with a homer.
Hisashi Iwakuma (9-6, 2.94) lasted eight innings in each of his only two starts against the White Sox that came last season. He allowed three runs and seven hits total while not factoring in the decision of either game that resulted in Mariners losses. He yielded three hits without a run during a 7-5, 16-inning home defeat in his last meeting.
The right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.15 ERA in his last seven starts, but a first-inning home run by Baltimore’s Nick Markakis was the difference in a 1-0 road defeat Sunday in which he lasted 7 2-3 innings. It marked the first time in Mariners’ history they lost a 1-0 game when the run came on a leadoff homer.
"When a run like that costs you, it’s tough," Iwakuma told MLB’s official website. "Because (that) was a day, being a starter, that you don’t want to lose."
Adam Dunn’s two hits in eight at-bats against Iwakuma both left the park.
Iwakuma will get his first look at Cuban rookie Jose Abreu, who has a major league-leading 31 home runs but none in a season-high nine straight games. He’s 3 for 19 in his last six after going 0 for 2 and being hit twice Thursday.