Although manager John McLaren won’t admit it, the Seattle Mariners have been wasting a perfect opportunity to take over first place in the AL West.
The Mariners look to avoid a season high-tying sixth straight loss when they wrap up their four-game series with the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
Seattle (54-44) pulled within one game of the division lead on Friday and despite their latest slide, are only 2 1/2 games back of the first-place Los Angeles Angels, who have lost seven of nine.
“We’re not concerned about what the Angels are doing,” McLaren told the team’s official Web site. “It’s all about us.
“We’re going to fight our way through it, and the only way to do that is stay positive. There’s nothing else we can do.”
The Mariners were swept in Tuesday’s doubleheader, losing the first game 2-1 and the nightcap 4-3. They are just 4-14 at Rangers Ballpark dating to 2005, and were swept in a four-game series there last Aug. 10-13.
“There is a lot of baseball to be played,” said Jarrod Washburn, who started the second game Tuesday. “This is no time to start pressing. We’re in the thick of things and are capable of playing better ball than we have in the past week.”
Miguel Batista (10-7, 4.32 ERA) tries to match his career high in victories and help the Mariners end their skid when he takes the ball on Wednesday.
Batista, who won 11 games for Arizona in 2001 and 2006, didn’t look like he would come close to that mark the way he started this season. He went 3-3 with a 6.98 ERA in his first seven starts, but is 7-4 with a 2.96 ERA in 13 games since May 18.
On Friday, he allowed two runs, five hits and struck out six in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-2 victory over Toronto.
Two of Batista’s wins this season have come over the Rangers, as he’s allowed five runs in 13 innings in two contests. He’s 3-3 with a 4.65 ERA in nine games - six starts - lifetime against Texas, but is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in four games - two starts - at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas (45-56) has won three straight, one shy of its season high set June 20-23.
Micheal Young is batting .469 (15-for-32) during an eight-game hitting streak, and is 7-for-17 (.412) lifetime against Batista.
Brandon McCarthy (4-7, 5.53) opposes Batista as he again seeks his first win since May 20.
McCarthy, who spent most of June on the disabled list because of a recurring blister on his right middle finger, is 0-3 with a 5.08 ERA in his last six starts.
The Rangers’ offense has made it challenging for McCarthy, who’s received just two runs of support in his last six outings.
“It isn’t easy but I’ve just got to put up zeros,” McCarthy said Friday after allowing three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss to Cleveland.
The 24-year-old right-hander had one of his worst starts of the season against the Mariners on April 15, getting tagged for six runs and six hits - including a season-high three home runs - in just two innings of a 14-6 loss. He’s 0-2 with a 12.71 ERA in three games - one start - lifetime against Seattle.
Mariners designated hitter Jose Vidro is batting .462 (18-for-39) in 11 games since the All-Star break, and has homered in each of his two at-bats against McCarthy this season. He has just three home runs on the year.
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