Tampa Bay (51-79) at Seattle (77-55)

  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed Aug 27, 2003
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The Seattle Mariners need Joel Pineiro to get back on track if they are going to hold off the Oakland Athletics in the American League West.

Pineiro looks to end his four-start losing streak as the Mariners continue their three-game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Safeco Field.

After finishing July with 19 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings, it looked as though Pineiro was ready for the pennant stretch.

Instead, he is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in August after a 6-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

The right-hander had won eight consecutive decisions before faltering this month.

“Nothing’s clicking in August,” Pineiro said. “Everything was good in July.”

Pineiro (13-9) went 5-0 in six starts last month. In four losses in August, he has pitched 19 innings and given up 19 earned runs and 32 hits.

“Something mechanical is off,” said Pineiro, who has a 3.69 ERA for the season. “I’m falling way down to the first base side on every pitch. That’s why my curveball is up and the fastball is not having the good down and hard action I want.”

The Mariners are hoping Pineiro can pick up where lefty Jamie Moyer left off on Tuesday.

Moyer earned his first victory in three weeks and Carlos Guillen drove in a career-high five runs as Seattle snapped a season-high six-game losing streak with a 9-3 win over Tampa Bay.

Lou Piniella made his second trip as manager of the Devil Rays to Seattle, where he led the Mariners for 10 years. He left after last season to live closer to his family in Florida.

This visit lacked the fanfare of his emotional return July 11. There was no pregame ceremony to honor Piniella, and there were only a few scattered handmade signs in the crowd to welcome him back.

“We’re just going to play baseball this time,” Piniella said before the game.

The Devil Rays have lost six straight to drop to 11-13 in August.

STANDINGS: Devil Rays - 5th place, 29 GB, AL East. Mariners - 1st place (tied), AL West.

DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Chad Gaudin (1-0, 3.60 ERA). The 20-year-old Gaudin will be making his third career start. Gaudin failed to earn a decision on Thursday. He allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings as Tampa Bay lost to Baltimore 5-4. Gaudin’s only win came in relief against Kansas City on Aug. 7.

MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Pineiro (13-9, 3.69 ERA). Pineiro, 24, gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings of the 6-4 loss to Boston on Friday. Pineiro is 2-3 with a 3.99 ERA in five career starts against Tampa Bay.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Devil Rays - Aubrey Huff, .309 avg., 24 HRs and 78 RBIs; Rocco Baldelli, 70 runs; Carl Crawford, 43 SBs. Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .330 avg., 95 runs and 30 SBs; Brett Boone, 31 HRs and 98 RBIs.

SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 3-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Devil Rays - C Toby Hall is batting .833 (4-for-5) with a homer lifetime against Pineiro. … OF Huff is hitting .588 (10-for-17) with four home runs and seven RBIs over the last five games. … OF Crawford leads the AL with 43 SBs. Mariners - OF Suzuki is hitting .277 since the All-Star break. … 3B Guillen’s five RBIs on Tuesday gave him 14 RBIs in 21 career games against Tampa Bay. … INF Greg Colbrunn needs a second surgery on his injured right wrist and will miss the rest of the season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devil Rays - 22-42 on the road; Mariners - 40-27 at home.

INJURIES: Devil Rays - INF Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; INF Terry Shumpert (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Ben Grieve (blood clot), 60-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 60-day DL. Mariners - IF Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Thornton (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Gaudin Phi vs. J. Piñeiro Phi
2-0 Record 16-11
3.60 ERA 3.78
23 K 151
16 BB 76
1.33 WHIP 1.27