Seattle (90-68) at Los Angeles (74-84)

Cloudy Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 24, 2003
  • TV: FSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Seattle Mariners’ playoff hopes are nearly gone.

The Mariners will be fighting for their playoff lives as they conclude their three-game series against the Anaheim Angels.

Tim Salmon homered in the 11th inning as the Angels defeated Seattle 2-1 Tuesday, eliminating the Mariners from the AL West race.

Oakland’s 4-3 victory over Texas in 10 innings, coupled with Seattle’s loss, clinched the division title for the A’s.

Seattle dropped 3 1/2 games behind Boston in the wild-card standings with four to play. A Mariners loss and a Red Sox win on Wednesday would give the wild-card to Boston and eliminate Seattle from the playoff contention.

“It’s one thing when you have control of your destiny and all you have to do is worry about winning games. But we can win the last four and it doesn’t matter if the other team wins a couple more games,” Seattle’s Bret Boone said.

“A lot crazier things have happened. But I’m not going to sit here and say it looks good, because it doesn’t.”

Seattle won the AL West with an American League-record 116-46 mark in 2001. The Mariners missed the playoffs last season after going 93-69.

Seattle has not helped itself down the stretch. The Mariners have lost six of 10 to drop their record to 10-11 this month.

All-Stars Boone and Ichiro Suzuki have stumbled down the stretch.

Boone is hitting .262 with two home runs and 11 RBIs over the last 21 games. Suzuki was hitting .352 at the All-Star break, but the Japanese star hit .242 in August and is batting .250 this month to drop his batting average from .341 to .310.

The Angels captured the AL wild-card last season on their way to a World Series title. They’ve been reduced to the role of spoiler this year.

The Angels will send John Lackey to the mound against the Mariners.

The young right-hander went 3-1 down the stretch last season to power Anaheim into the playoffs. Lackey is 1-3 this September to fall to 9-16 on the season.

Lackey is 1-3 with a 4.28 ERA in five games against Seattle.

STANDINGS: Mariners - 2nd place, 5 GB, AL West. Angels - 3rd place, 21 GB, AL West.

MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ryan Franklin (10-13, 3.50 ERA). The 30-year-old righty pitched eight innings, yielding just one run and four hits to pick up a 6-1 win over Oakland on Friday. Franklin is 4-5 since the All-Star break despite a respectable 3.16 ERA

ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Lackey (9-16, 4.85 ERA). Lackey is 2-8 with a 4.62 ERA since the All-Star break. He gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings of a 3-2 loss to Texas on Friday.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mariners - Suzuki, .310 avg., 110 runs and 33 SBs; Boone, 34 HRs and 114 RBIs. Angels - Garrett Anderson, .314 avg., 29 HRs, 116 RBIs and 77 runs; Adam Kennedy, 22 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 11-7.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Mariners - DH Edgar Martinez is 5-for-11 with a home run and five RBIs against Lackey. … Seattle has four pitchers with at least 200 innings pitched this season. … OF Suzuki is second in the AL with 205 hits. Angels - RHP Troy Percival has converted 33 of his 37 save opportunities. … OF Anderson is tied with Toronto’s Vernon Wells with an AL-high 48 doubles. … OF Tim Salmon is batting just .208 (5-for-24) against Franklin.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mariners - 43-37 on the road; Angels - 42-36 at home.

INJURIES: Mariners - INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Rett Johnson (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Thornton (elbow), 60-day DL. Angels - IF Troy Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL; C Bengie Molina (wrist), 60-day DL; IF Brad Fullmer (knee), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

G. Meche KC vs. J. Lackey StL
15-13 Record 10-16
4.59 ERA 4.63
130 K 151
63 BB 66
1.34 WHIP 1.42