The Mariners’ injury-depleted lineup looks to avoid being shut down by Greinke in a matchup with the lowly Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Seattle (68-62), 7 1/2 games behind wild-card leader Boston, may need to be a little more selective at the plate if it hopes to make a run.
The Mariners have struck out 294 times while going 16-16 since July 23. They’re second only to Texas (297) during that span.
After being fanned 18 times in splitting the first two contests of this four-game series, the Mariners had six in an 8-4 win over AL-worst Kansas City (49-80) on Saturday night.
Seattle next faces Greinke (12-8, 2.43 ERA), who struck out a team-record 15 and allowed two runs in eight innings to beat Cleveland 6-2 on Tuesday night. The right-hander topped his career high with 12 strikeouts in the first six innings and broke Mark Gubicza’s 21-year-old team record of 14 in the seventh.
Greinke is third in the majors with 197 strikeouts in 181 1-3 innings.
“With two strikes, I usually try to strike guys out,” he said.
Greinke has 23 strikeouts in five starts versus the Mariners, going 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA.
The nine-time All-Star, 16 hits shy of reaching 200 in a record nine straight seasons, is uncertain for Sunday.
“We’re on the exact same page with him,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “All I told him is let’s be smart about it, whatever day that is (for his return).”
Seattle is also without Russell Branyan(notes), who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a herniated disk in his back. The 33-year-old first baseman has set career highs with 31 homers and 76 RBIs.
Jack Hannahan(notes) started at first base Saturday, going 2 for 4 with a home run. He entered the game hitting .194 in 18 games against the Royals but helped Seattle reach its highest run total since a 9-4 win over Cleveland on Aug. 21.
Kansas City next looks to solve Seattle starter Ryan Rowland-Smith(notes) (2-1, 4.05), who is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in five starts at home. He gave up two runs in 6 1-3 innings as Seattle beat Oakland 4-2 in 10 innings at Safeco Field on Tuesday night.
The left-hander has not received a decision in two starts and four relief appearances against the Royals, posting a 4.91 ERA.