Freddy Garcia has lost whatever it was he found in June.
Garcia, who has won at least 16 games in three of his first four big league seasons, appeared on the fast track to another strong campaign when he put together an impressive six-start winning streak from May 27 to June 24.
Garcia, the AL pitcher of the month for June, yielded two earned runs or fewer in five of seven outings before being pounded for seven runs and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 7-3 loss at Texas on July 4.
He has not been able to bounce back from the defeat, losing three of his last four starts while allowing at least six runs in three of those outings. On Tuesday, Garcia surrendered seven runs in just 2 2-3 innings, but was spared another loss when the Mariners rallied for a 10-8 win at Minnesota.
“I think it’s a part of what we’re going to get from Freddy—periods of ineffectiveness or wildness,” Seattle pitching coach Bryan Price said.
“I’ve seen way more positive than negative from him. But for most No. 1 pitchers, you’re going to have very few periods like that, or where you’re missing locations by a wide margin.”
Seattle has outscored Texas 15-5 in taking the first two games of the series, including Saturday’s 4-0 victory. Joel Pineiro pitched a career-best three-hitter and Ichiro Suzuki drove in a run for the AL West-leading Mariners, who have posted a major league-high 12 shutouts this season.
The Rangers, who were held to a season low in hits, have lost three in a row and six of seven.
STANDINGS: Rangers - 4th place, 22 GB, AL West. Mariners - 1st place, AL West.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: John Thomson (7-10, 5.58 ERA). Thomson was enjoying his best stretch of the season, going 3-0 in four starts, before being pounded for seven runs in 3 2-3 innings of Tuesday’s 12-6 loss at Baltimore. The right-hander had yielded three runs or fewer in each of his previous four outings. Thomson is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three career starts against Seattle.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Garcia (9-9, 5.05 ERA). Garcia is 4-3 with a 5.19 ERA in 13 career starts against Texas.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rangers - Michael Young, .317 avg.; Juan Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez, 24 HRs; Gonzalez, 70 RBIs; Rodriguez, 69 runs; Michael Young, 10 SBs. Mariners - Suzuki, .341 avg. and 26 SBs; Bret Boone, 27 HRs, 83 RBIs and 74 runs.
SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 7-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - The Rangers are a season-high 21 games below .500. … In the last seven games, Texas starters have pitched 28 2-3 innings while the bullpen has gone 29 1-3 innings. … The Rangers took two of three from the Mariners at the Ballpark in Arlington from July 4-6. Mariners - SS Rodriguez, who will celebrate his 28th birthday Sunday, is 6-for-18 (.333) with three homers and four RBIs in his career against RHP Garcia. … Garcia is 3-5 with a 4.41 ERA in 10 starts at Safeco this year. … The Mariners have not allowed an unearned run in their last 16 games, yielding just two in their last 53.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 17-34 on the road; Mariners - 30-21 at home.
INJURIES: Rangers - OF Gonzalez (calf), 15-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL. Mariners - 3B Jeff Cirillo (shoulder), 15-day DL; INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Kazuhiro Sasaki (ribs), 15-day DL.