The Seattle Mariners look to carry some momentum from one of their biggest offensive games of the season to Wednesday when they continue their three-game series against the Los Angles Angels at Safeco Field.
The Mariners (18-16) jumped out to a 9-1 lead after three innings Tuesday en route to an 11-3 win over the AL West-leading Angels (22-18). Second-place Seattle moved within one game of Los Angeles with the win.
The Mariners now look to avoid an offensive letdown similar to those encountered the only other times they’ve reached double figures in runs.
On April 15, Seattle defeated Texas 14-6, but lost to Minnesota 11-2 in its next game on April 17. Earlier this month on May 4, the Mariners beat the New York Yankees 15-11, but they lost to the Yankees 8-1 the following day.
Kenji Johjima homered and drove in two runs on Tuesday, and is batting .360 (9-for-25) with two home runs and six RBIs during a season-high six-game hitting streak.
Ichiro Suzuki went 5-for-5 for the fourth time in his career and extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games. He’s hitting .471 (16-for-34) during his run, and his batting average has jumped 52 points to .312.
Suzuki is 18-for-61 (.295) in his career against Wednesday’s starter John Lackey ( 5-3, 2.70 ERA).
The Angels opening day starter threw eight scoreless innings on Friday, but his bid for his sixth career shutout fell apart in the ninth. He finished two outs shy of a complete game, allowing three runs and five hits while striking out seven in a 6-3 victory over Texas.
“It would have been nice to get a shutout, but a win’s a win,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. I was pretty mad when I didn’t get it.”
The right-hander struggled against Seattle last season, going 1-2 with a 8.44 ERA in five starts. In three outings, he gave up five or more runs while pitching less than five innings.
He is 6-8 with a 4.86 ERA in 18 career starts against the Mariners, but is 1-3 with a 7.88 ERA in his last seven starts against them dating back to 2005.
The Angels lost for just the third time in their last 14 games against Seattle with Tuesday’s defeat.
All-Star slugger Vladimir Guerrero was out of the lineup to rest, but is expected to return Wednesday. Guerrero was 6-for-11 (.545) with two homers and four RBIs in Los Angeles’ three-game sweep over the Mariners April 20-22, and hit .429 (15-for-35) with a home run and six RBIs in nine games at Safeco Field last season.
Seattle’s Cha Seung Baek (1-0, 5.40) tries for another strong outing when he takes the hill on Wednesday.
After giving up seven runs and eight hits in just 3 2-3 innings in the Mariners’ win over the Yankees on May 4, Baek threw a six-hitter last Wednesday in a 9-2 win over Detroit for the first complete game of his major league career.
“I think against any sort of lineup you can characterize that as a special performance,” manager Mike Hargrove told the Mariners’ official Web site.
Last Wednesday’s victory was Baek’s first of the season, although Seattle has won each of his four starts.
The right-hander has made 15 career starts for the Mariners, and this will be his first game against the Angels.