Seattle (60-49) is one-half game behind leaders Detroit and New York in the wild-card race after a 9-2 loss to Boston on Sunday, dropping the last two games of the series after taking the opener 7-4 on Friday. The Mariners, though, went 6-4 on their homestand to rebound from a preceding seven-game road trip during which they won only once.
“Everybody asked coming in if this was the biggest homestand of the year, and I think we handled it real well,” Mariner interim manager John McLaren said. “We played some tough teams and competed well.”
Now, Seattle hopes Weaver (2-10, 6.32 ERA) can help it get back into playoff position as he tries for his first win since June 25. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 4.58 ERA in six starts since, losing in each of his last four trips to the mound and posting a 6.29 ERA during the six-game stretch.
He had a terrible outing last Tuesday in an 8-0 loss to Los Angeles, surrendering six runs and seven hits in four innings that were reminiscent of his first six weeks this season, when he went 0-6 with a 14.32 ERA. Weaver showed his frustration during the second inning when he served up two home runs and began yelling at himself on the mound.
“I think the second inning was just the effect of trying to be too fine, not wanting to make a mistake and it backfired,” Weaver said. “I fell behind a lot of guys in that inning, and eventually I had to come to them, and they didn’t miss a couple of those pitches. It was definitely frustrating.”
Weaver will try to rebound from that performance when he faces Baltimore, a club he is 3-4 against with a 4.11 ERA in nine career games, including seven starts. He lost his last start at Camden Yards, allowing four runs - two earned - and five hits in seven innings of a 4-2 defeat April 17.
In that outing, Weaver gave up a home run to Miguel Tejada, who’s batting .393 (11-for-28) with two homers against the right-hander.
The Orioles (52-58) will counter Weaver with their own struggling veteran in Steve Trachsel (5-7, 4.97), who has not won since June 8. He’s 0-3 with a 7.56 ERA in seven starts since.
The 36-year-old right-hander was better Wednesday at Boston, when he allowed just one unearned run despite a season-high five walks before exiting after six innings. He then watched the bullpen give up four runs in the seventh as Baltimore went on to lose 5-4.
Trachsel will try to build on that outing and end his losing streak by getting his first victory over Seattle. He’s 0-4 with an 8.05 ERA in four starts against the Mariners, all of them coming during the 2000 season with Tampa Bay and Toronto.
“I just really wanted to make sure I trusted every pitch and was doing everything I needed to do to make sure I executed,” Trachsel told the team’s official Web site about Wednesday’s outing. “I really kept the ball down real well today, which was another big thing I wanted to do.”
Baltimore hopes to continue providing offensive support for its pitchers after totaling a season high-tying 16 hits in an 11-3 win at Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Orioles took two of three from the Devil Rays, ending a six-game road trip at .500.