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News » Mariners-Angels Preview 2009-04-26


Mariners-Angels Preview 2009-04-26


Mariners-Angels Preview 2009-04-26
Jarrod Washburn said he doesn't know what he's doing. The simple answer is the Seattle Mariners starter is winning and so is his team.

The Mariners look to continue their strong start, win their seventh straight road victory and record their first sweep of the Los Angeles Angels in three seasons on Sunday.

Washburn (3-0, 1.71 ERA) comes into the series finale searching for his first 4-0 start since 1998 - his rookie season, but even that took six outings to accomplish. After a 5-14 finish during Seattle's 101-loss campaign last season, the veteran left-hander has shown outstanding stuff over 21 innings and struck out nine in Tuesday night's 4-2 victory over defending American League champion Tampa Bay.

"It's exciting, we're looking forward to coming to the park," Washburn said. "Winning is fun. I'm out there yelling and screaming out there. I don't even know what I'm doing, but I like it that way.'"

Washburn also started 7-1 in 2004 but faltered to finish 11-8. The former Angels pitcher has won more than 11 games once in his career - going 18-6 in 2002 in Anaheim, and he snapped a three-game skid to Los Angeles by allowing two runs over six innings in an 11-3 home win April 15.

The Mariners (12-6) have experienced a similar renaissance under new manager Don Wakamatsu. They are one-half game behind Toronto for the AL's best record, and their improved play on the road has been a big reason.

After finishing last season with 26 victories away from home, Seattle is 7-2 thus far and searching for its longest win streak since winning 13 straight from May 15-June 5, 2003.

The Mariners followed up Friday night's season-high 17 hits with 12 in Saturday night's 9-8 victory as Russell Branyan had a three-run homer and finished with three hits. Ichiro Suzuki also had three hits, and Wladmir Balentien added his first home run of the season for Seattle, which has scored 17 runs in the series.

Branyan also had a run-scoring single, giving him six RBIs in two games after missing the previous five with lower back spasms, and Ichiro has four straight multihit performances, raising his average from .240 to .341.

After starting its eighth pitcher this month - one more than last season on Saturday night, Los Angeles (6-11) will look to Jered Weaver (1-1, 3.38), who allowed four runs and 10 hits in the April 15 loss in Seattle.

The Angels have allowed 32 earned runs in the last four games, with starters accounting for 20.

"We need to pitch better," manager Mike Scioscia told the team's official Web site. "Our continuity on the mound is critical to our success."

Weaver gave up three runs in seven innings Tuesday night for his longest outing this season before the Angels' rallied for a 4-3 victory over visiting Detroit. While the right-hander is 6-3 with a 5.22 ERA in his career against the Mariners, he is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA versus Seattle at home.

After producing three runs and six hits Friday night, the Angels had four runs and five hits in the final three innings Saturday, including Torii Hunter's seventh home run. However, umpires ruled a fan interfered with Gary Matthews Jr.'s drive to lead off the third, which was confirmed on replay and denied the outfielder his first home run this season.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 26, 2009

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