Mariners-Angels Preview


The Los Angeles Angels have a chance to record their longest winning streak of 2013 and extend the Seattle Mariners' worst skid of the season.

Orange County native Brandon Maurer will try to prevent that Wednesday night when the Angels go for a two-game sweep in Anaheim.

Since falling a season-worst 12 games below .500 with a loss to the Chicago White Sox on Friday, Los Angeles (18-27) has reeled off three straight wins to match its longest streak of the season.

The Angels are batting .340 with 10.0 runs per game during their current run after pounding out 15 hits in Tuesday's 12-0 victory. Mike Trout's solo homer in the eighth inning capped off the sixth cycle in team history, and first since Chone Figgins on Sept. 16, 2006.

"We have to see if we can get back in this thing," said Trout, whose three career five-RBI games have all come against Seattle.

The Angels' last four-game winning streak was a five-game run that ended with a 9-4 home loss to Seattle on Sept. 27.

The Mariners (20-26), meanwhile, have dropped five in a row and are 9-17 on the road.

Maurer (2-5, 5.75 ERA) went 6 1-3 innings in the opener of that series, a 6-0 victory, but he's 0-2 in three starts since. The right-hander walked a season-high four in Friday's 6-3, 10-inning loss at Cleveland, but he delivered a solid six-inning performance with three runs allowed.

"I wanted to give him the opportunity to do that (get through the sixth), and it was big for him and us," manager Eric Wedge told the Mariners' official website after Maurer threw a season-high 102-pitches. "He's hard on himself out there. He needs to back off himself a little, but he's learning a great deal every time he goes out there."

The right-hander, who grew up in Costa Mesa, Calif., and starred at Orange Lutheran High School, still has plenty of strides to make against left-handed batters, who are hitting .341 off him.

Josh Hamilton, the Angels' only everyday left-handed batter, was one of six hitters to go 1 for 3 against Maurer last month.

The following day in Los Angeles' 6-3 victory, Wednesday's starter C.J. Wilson (3-3, 3.72) won for the sixth time in seven decisions against the Mariners with 5 1-3 innings of three-run ball.

The left-hander will try to avoid his first career four-start losing streak after dropping his last two to Chicago by identical 3-0 margins. Wilson pitched a season-high seven innings in Friday's defeat, giving up just two runs.

"C.J. did a great job. I hate that we can't score runs for him,'' said Hamilton said.

Hamilton might be able to help with that. The former MVP has more homers (19) against Seattle than any other team after going 2 for 5 with a two-run shot Tuesday, his 32nd birthday.

Eric Aybar, one of five Angels with at least two hits in the series opener, is questionable after leaving Tuesday's game with right knee soreness. If he can't go, Brendan Harris could get the start at shortstop.

If the Angels cap off their nine-game homestand with a fifth victory, it will send the Mariners to their first six-game skid since June 9-15.