Whenever the Seattle Mariners leave the Pacific Northwest, they can’t seem to win.
The Mariners look to snap a 12-game road losing streak when they continue their three-game series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Tropicana Field on Saturday.
Seattle entered this series having won seven of nine on a homestand. As soon as the team traveled to Florida, however, the losing began again. The Mariners went a franchise-worst 0-11 on a road trip from Aug. 10-20 and then lost 2-1 to the Devil Rays on Friday.
Seattle (63-71) dropped a team-record 15 in a row on the road from June 22-July 28, 2004.
“We just couldn’t generate any offense,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “We certainly pitched well enough to win.”
Tampa Bay (54-81) got the winning run on a pinch-hit single from Ty Wigginton with two outs in the bottom of the ninth Friday, giving them back-to-back wins since a six-game losing streak.
“It worked out all right,” Wigginton said. “The first swing in two days and it came through for me.”
Wigginton was activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday, a move that paid immediate dividends. Sidelined since breaking a bone in his left hand July 29, the third baseman extended his hitting streak to 11 games despite missing 30 contests because of the injury.
He’s batting .432 (16-for-37) over that span.
“We got Wiggy on an airplane just in time,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
Delmon Young, who was 8-for-11 in his first three games, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Friday for his first hitless game in the majors.
J.P. Howell (0-1, 7.53 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season for Tampa Bay on Saturday. Howell, acquired from Kansas City on June 20, was recalled from Triple-A Durham last Saturday and gave up six hits and two runs in six innings of the Rays’ 5-4 loss to Baltimore. He did not factor in the decision.
He made two previous starts at the beginning of August for Tampa Bay before being sent to the minors.
Howell was recalled to replace Scott Kazmir, who was put on the 15-day disabled list last Friday.
“I felt good,” Howell said after facing the Orioles. “There was a little more life on my fastball. It gave me more confidence to throw it in fastball counts.”
In his only career start against the Mariners, Howell lost 6-0 on July 4, 2005, allowing six runs and eight hits in five innings.
Cha Seung Baek (1-0, 4.22) looks for consecutive victories when he starts for Seattle on Saturday. Baek picked up his first win since Aug. 26, 2004 on Sunday, when he beat Boston 6-3. He allowed three runs and two hits in 5 2-3 innings, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth.
In his first start of the season Aug. 22 against the New York Yankees, Baek gave up three runs and three hits in five innings, but didn’t earn the win in Seattle’s 6-5 victory.
Baek threw a scoreless inning in his only appearance against Tampa Bay on Aug. 8, 2004.