Texas (65-80) at Seattle (83-62)

  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Thu Sep 11, 2003
  • TV: FSNW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Seattle Mariners need Gil Meche to break out of his second-half slump if they are going to catch the Oakland Athletics in the AL West.

Meche takes the mound for the playoff-hopeful Mariners as they finish up a three-game series with the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field.

Seattle is struggling at the worst possible time. The Mariners have lost five of eight to fall 2 1/2 games behind Oakland in the AL West. They are two games behind Boston in the wild-card race.

The Mariners have scored three runs or fewer in five of their last seven games. Seattle needs the pitching staff to make up for its slumping hitters.

Meche began the season 10-3 before hitting the skids. He is 4-7 with a 5.13 ERA since July 1.

Meche has shown signs of breaking out of his slump over his last two starts. The 25-year-old right-hander has allowed three earned runs over his last two starts.

He gave up only two runs and 10 hits over six innings last week in Baltimore, but the bullpen cost him his 15th victory as the Orioles rallied for a 6-4 win.

The Mariners are hoping Meche can match teammate Joel Pineiro’s effort.

Pineiro pitched a four-hitter to lead Seattle past Texas 3-1 on Wednesday, winning for the first time since July 31.

The Rangers, who have lost five of their last six, will send Mickey Callaway to hill against Meche. Callaway is 0-2 with a 9.35 ERA in two starts with Texas. The right-hander was roughed up for eight runs—seven earned—and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings of a 10-7 loss to Minnesota last Friday.

STANDINGS: Rangers - 4th place, 20 1/2 GB, AL West. Mariners - 2nd place, 2 1/2 GB, AL West.

RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Callaway (1-6, 7.28 ERA). Callaway began the year with Anaheim, going 1-4 with a 6.81 ERA in 17 appearances, including four starts.

MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Meche (14-10, 4.08 ERA). The right-hander has just one win over the last month, going 1-3 with a 6.49 ERA in five starts. Meche is 2-2 with a 6.86 ERA in four career starts against Texas.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rangers - Hank Blalock, .309 avg.; Alex Rodriguez, 42 HRs, 103 RBIs, 114 runs and 16 SBs. Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .315 avg., 103 runs and 30 SBs; Boone, 33 HRs and 108 RBIs.

SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 8-7.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - INF Michael Young is 3-for-8 with a home run against Meche. … SS Rodriguez leads the AL with 42 HRs. … 1B Rafael Palmeiro his 524th career home run on Wednesday. He’s 10 shy of Jimmie Foxx for 12th on the all-time list. Mariners - Seattle has 16 shutouts to lead all of baseball. … The Mariners have scored first in only two of its last 18 games. Seattle is 6-12 in those games. … OF Suzuki needs 10 hits to give him 200 in each of his first three seasons.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 27-47 on the road; Mariners - 44-30 at home.

INJURIES: Rangers - INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 60-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (back), 60-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL. Mariners - INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Rett Johnson (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Thornton (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Callaway TEX vs. G. Meche KC
1-7 Record 15-13
6.68 ERA 4.59
41 K 130
24 BB 63
1.78 WHIP 1.34