The Seattle Mariners have newfound confidence thanks to one of the hottest offenses in the majors. Now they hope those bats can lift them to their longest winning streak of 2007.
The Mariners go for their fifth straight victory as they continue a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Seattle (25-22) is outscoring opponents 38-12 during its four-game winning streak, batting .354 with nine homers and 13 doubles during that stretch. The Mariners tied a season high with four homers in Monday’s 12-5 victory to pull within 3 1/2 games of the AL West-leading Angels (31-21).
“You can see how well we’re swinging,” said Mariners manager Mike Hargrove, whose team leads the AL with a .281 batting average. “Our guys feel good about themselves right now.”
Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre tied a franchise record with four extra-base hits in the win, including two homers, to improve to 11-for-17 (.647) over the last four games. Richie Sexson went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer to boost his batting average 14 points to .199.
Center fielder Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 21 games—three shy of the Mariners’ franchise record set by Joey Cora in 1997.
“It’s a great lineup we have—we can pretty much compete with anyone,” said Mariners right fielder Jose Guillen, who hit his sixth homer and added a sacrifice fly.
The Mariners also won four in a row from April 23-27.
Ervin Santana (3-6, 6.00 ERA) will have the task of quieting that surging lineup as he tries to rebound from his worst start of the season. The Angels’ right-hander gave up a season-high eight runs and seven hits over 3 2-3 innings in a 12-0 defeat at Detroit on Thursday—his shortest outing of 2007.
He fell to 0-5 with a 9.30 ERA in six road starts as opposed to a 3-1 record at home with a 2.33 ERA.
“He took a half step backward,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He had no command and he paid the price against a great hitting team like the Tigers.
“His issue is not home or away. His issue is the location of his fastball.”
Santana is 2-2 with a 5.34 ERA in five career starts versus the Mariners, and held them to one run and six hits over seven innings in a 6-1 win on April 22. He will be opposed by Ryan Feierabend, who is expected to be called up from Triple-A Tacoma to start in place of the injured Horacio Ramirez.
It will be the first major league appearance for Feierabend this season. The left-hander, who has never faced the Angels, went 0-1 with a 3.71 ERA in four games, including two starts, for the Mariners in 2006.
Los Angeles had a season-high five-game home winning streak snapped on Monday, but is still 17-7 at Angel Stadium. The Angels also had a seven-game home win streak versus the Mariners come to an end, but have still won 13 of the last 17 overall matchups and five of seven this season.
Los Angeles catcher Mike Napoli is batting .354 (17-for-48) during a career-high 14-game hitting streak with four homers and 12 RBIs during that stretch.