A series with the Seattle Mariners last week helped Texas and its pitchers turn their season around. The Rangers’ staff could certainly use another boost.
The Rangers look to bounce back from their worst pitching performance of May as they open a three-game set with the light-hitting Mariners on Monday night.
Texas (18-21) has been able to rebound from a terrible start thanks largely to improved pitching. The Rangers had won 11 of 15, posting a 3.22 ERA during that span, before having a season-best five-game winning streak end with a 12-6 loss to Oakland on Sunday.
“We’ll be fine,” Rangers relief pitcher Eddie Guardado said following the defeat. “We won the series and that’s what you need to do.”
It was the most runs allowed by Texas since a 19-6 loss at Detroit on April 23.
The Rangers had their best pitching run of the season in the final three games of a four-game set with the Mariners (15-24) that began last Monday. After losing the opener 7-3, Texas held Seattle to one run en route to winning the final three contests.
Vicente Padilla (5-2, 3.02 ERA), who will take the mound for the Rangers on Monday, ran his personal winning streak to three games in Texas’ 2-0 win over Seattle on Wednesday night. He gave up two hits while striking out eight in seven innings.
The right-hander has posted a 0.42 ERA over his last three outings. He has allowed just one run in two starts, spanning 13 innings versus the Mariners this season, and is 3-5 with a 4.94 ERA in nine starts and two relief appearances lifetime against them.
The Rangers could use another strong start from Padilla after placing No. 1 starter Kevin Millwood on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Mariners top starter Erik Bedard (2-2, 1.99 ERA) has been the victim of poor run support. The left-hander has lost two straight, getting just one run to work with during that span.
Bedard was the hard-luck loser against Padilla and Texas on Wednesday, allowing two runs and six hits while striking out five in seven innings. Bedard is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts versus the Rangers this season, but 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight career starts.
Bedard’s lack of run support isn’t due to poor hitting from Ichiro Suzuki, who is 7-for-16 (.437) in the last four games Seattle’s ace has started. He went 3-for-4 on Sunday, when Seattle beat the Chicago White Sox 6-3 to snap a five-game losing streak.
“We have a good ballclub,” Mariners manager John McLaren said. “Things haven’t been going well, but I believe in these guys. We need to keep them going and get out of a hole.”
Seattle’s 13 hits were its most since collecting 10 in a 7-3 win over the Rangers last Monday.
Suzuki, who also stole his 16th base Sunday, is batting .571 (16-for-28) with a home run and a triple against Padilla.
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