Joel Pineiro is starting to look more like the pitcher that won 16 games a year ago, as opposed to the one that lost a career-high seven straight recently.
The 25-year-old right-hander will try to help the Seattle Mariners avoid being swept at Texas for the second time this season as the teams complete a three-game series.
After finishing 16-11 with a 3.78 last season, Pineiro is off to a slow start. He didn’t win in a span of nine starts, losing seven straight decisions from April 23-June 8.
Pineiro has since won consecutive starts, giving up just two runs over 16 innings. This includes Saturday’s 5-1 victory at Pittsburgh during which he allowed one run and four hits over eight innings.
“I hope I get on a good streak and hopefully win some ballgames and try to get back in it,” Pineiro said.
The Mariners lost its second in a row in this series with Wednesday’s 6-3 decision, their sixth in the last 16 games overall. Rich Aurilia homered and Jolbert Cabrera had three hits for the Mariners, which lost their sixth straight at Texas, including a three-game sweep from April 23-25.
“For whatever reason, we have a tough time against these guys,” Seattle starter Ryan Franklin said. “We have to find a way to get a win before we get out of here.”
The Rangers have won five in a row to match their season high recorded from April 29-May 3.
Texas, coming off four straight last-place finishes in the AL West, is 10 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1999 season, when it last went to the playoffs.