The AL West rivals each look to snap extended losing streaks as they meet for the first time this season Friday night at Safeco Field.
Los Angeles (12-18) had won three in a row and four of six on the road prior to a 10-game trip where it’s lost seven straight to Detroit and Boston.
Seattle (11-17), meanwhile, had won seven of nine at Safeco before losing the first six of its current nine-game homestand.
“It’s a tough stretch,” Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. “It’s is hard to watch the same game. We are getting tired of it here, but we continue to believe in what we can do and continue to work.”
The Angels added to their misery by blowing a four-run first-inning lead en route to an 11-6 defeat Thursday at Fenway Park. Los Angeles, which hasn’t lost eight in a row since a nine-game skid from Aug. 24-Sept. 2, 1999, has been outscored 54-25 during its seven-game winless stretch.
“Those guys are taking this streak hard and that’s part of the problem,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who held a team meeting after Thursday’s contest. “We have to turn the page.”
That might not be easy while facing Mariners ace Felix Hernandez(notes) (2-2, 3.10 ERA). Though Hernandez has dropped his last two starts, he’s 1-0 with a 0.42 ERA in his last three versus the Angels.
Hernandez, 4-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 16 starts against Los Angeles, had his string of 18 consecutive quality starts snapped after back tightness forced him to leave after giving up five runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-3 home loss to Texas on Saturday.
“I’ll be OK,” said Hernandez, who last lost three in row from May 4-19, 2009. “I’m tough and I’m just going to go out there and battle and pitch my game.”
Howie Kendrick(notes) had two hits with two RBIs Thursday for the Angels, but he’s 2 for 18 against Hernandez. Bobby Abreu(notes), who also had two hits in the finale at Boston, is 7 for 20 versus the 24-year-old right-hander.
“One of those games you have to take with a grain of salt,” said the right-hander, who’s 8-3 with a 4.61 ERA in 14 starts versus Seattle.
Seattle, which hasn’t dropped seven straight since a 12-game skid Sept. 11-22, 2008, were limited to four hits in an 8-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Hitting a team-leading .330, Franklin Gutierrez(notes) went 0 for 4 for Seattle, which is batting .182 during its six-game losing streak while scoring only nine runs. He’s 4 for 11 with a triple against Weaver.
Adding to the Mariners’ overall troubles, the team placed volatile outfielder Milton Bradley(notes) on the restricted list Thursday. After asking the team for help to deal with “emotional stress” from personal issues, Bradley will miss at least five days.