Seattle’s R.A. Dickey has been tough to hit out of the bullpen this season, but he’s struggled to carry that success into the rotation.
The veteran knuckleballer will look to turn in a solid start on Wednesday as the Mariners wrap up a three-game series with the Florida Marlins at Safeco Field.
Dickey (1-2, 4.71 ERA) made his first start since April 18 on Friday, but was battered for seven runs in just 1 2-3 innings of a 7-6 loss to Washington. He also struggled in his first start of the season, allowing five runs in six innings in a 5-4 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
“The movement was very minimal, it stayed up a lot,” he said Friday. “Usually, the bottom will drop out late. Tonight, it wasn’t dropping. It was just hanging for them to hit.”
The right-hander moved back into Seattle’s rotation to replace the struggling Miguel Batista. He had yielded just one run in 18 innings in his previous five relief outings.
Dickey is 10-16 with a 6.46 ERA in 35 career starts, and 7-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 51 relief appearances.
He is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career relief appearances against the Marlins (38-33).
The Mariners (25-46) ended an eight-game home losing streak on Tuesday, beating the Marlins 5-4. Left fielder Raul Ibanez had three hits including an RBI single in the first, and Jose Lopez added a pair of RBI doubles for Seattle, which owns the worst record in baseball.
Seattle gave starter Felix Hernandez a 4-1 lead heading into the fifth - the team’s first lead of more than two runs since June 6. The Mariners’ anemic offense, which is tied with Kansas City for last in the AL with 275 runs, also scored more than three runs for just the second time in 10 games.
“We had some timely hitting and I thought we should have had some more,” McLaren said. “But I’m not complaining.”
Ibanez extended his hitting streak to eight games. He is batting .333 (11-for-33) in that stretch.
Second baseman Dan Uggla hit his 20th homer for the Marlins, who had scored 15 runs and picked up 21 hits while winning their previous two games. Florida lost for the fourth time in six games overall, and remained three games behind NL East-leading Philadelphia.
The Marlins will turn to Ryan Tucker (1-1, 5.40), who is making his third major league start, to lead them to the series win. The 21-year-old right-hander beat Cincinnati 9-2 in his major league debut on June 8, but yielded five runs in five innings of Friday’s 7-3 loss in Tampa Bay.
“I’ve got to keep myself under control,” Tucker said, “try and do a better job keeping my team in the game.”