New York (33-33) at Seattle (28-36)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Seattle, WA
Temp: 53° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Fri Jun 17, 2005
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Kaz Ishii has New York Mets manager Willie Randolph scratching his head.

The inconsistent left-hander will try to pick up his second victory of the season when the Mets open a three-game interleague series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for catcher Jason Phillips in March, Ishii has managed just one win in eight starts for New York. However, the Japanese southpaw has shown flashes of brilliance.

In last Friday’s 12-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Shea Stadium, Ishii pitched five near-flawless innings and struck out a season-high nine before fading badly in the sixth. He left the game after yielding five runs and six hits, including a pair homers, in 5 2-3 innings.

“It was kind of puzzling to have him go like that so quickly,” Randolph said. “Maybe the inning before took a lot out of him running the bases, I don’t know. I would hate to think that’s the case.”

Apparently, it wasn’t.

“Stamina wasn’t the problem,” Ishii said through an interpreter.

Since picking up his first win as a Met in a 6-1 victory at Florida on May 28, Ishii has been pounded for 11 runs and 16 hits over 11 2-3 innings during his two-start losing streak. He has yielded at least five runs in five of his starts this season, but one run or fewer in the other three.

The Mets ended a three-game losing streak and avoided their first series sweep this month with Thursday’s 9-6 victory at Oakland. Mike Piazza ended the longest homerless drought of his career with a solo shot and Carlos Beltran added a three-run shot as New York improved to 1-2 on its 12-game road trip.

Piazza hadn’t homered since May 9 at Wrigley Field, a stretch of 98 at-bats, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“It’s been a while. I felt like I’ve been swinging the bat better the last 30 or 40 at-bats or so, but I’m still not driving the ball as well as I can,” Piazza said. “Carlos came up with a big home run. That kind of got us going.”

The Mariners’ bid for a three-game sweep of Philadelphia ended with a 3-2, 13-inning loss Thursday. Raul Ibanez homered for Seattle, which has lost four of its last six.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Ishii NYM vs. J. Moyer Tor
3-9 Record 13-7
5.14 ERA 4.28
53 K 102
49 BB 52
1.49 WHIP 1.39