The Seattle Mariners won six of seven games on their last road trip to the Midwest, but nearly erased that with a rough six-game homestand in the past week.
Nearing the end of a 17-game stretch of consecutive playing days, the Mariners (13-7 before Wednesday’s game) will head down the West Coast for a week.
Seattle plays a four-game series against their American League West rival in the Los Angeles Angels beginning Thursday, before traveling further south to meet their Cactus League rivals in the San Diego Padres.
The two-game series against the Padres, which begins Tuesday, will be the first of four series’ the Mariners will play in National League parks this season.
All six games will be broadcast on television on Root Sports Northwest and radio on 710 ESPN.
MARINERS ROAD PREVIEW
Thursday — Opponent: Los Angeles Angels, 7:07 p.m. Pitching probables: Felix Hernandez (1-1, 4.38 ERA) vs. Chris Stratton (0-1, 5.54).
Friday — Los Angeles Angels, 7:07 p.m. Marco Gonzales (4-0, 3.19) vs. Felix Pena (0-1, 3.65).
Saturday — Los Angeles Angels, 6:07 p.m. Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 4.23) vs. Trevor Cahill (1-1, 4.50).
Sunday — Los Angeles Angels, 1:07 p.m. Mike Leake (2-1, 3.86) vs. Jaime Barria (1-1, 5.87).
Monday — Off day.
Tuesday — San Diego, 7:10 p.m. TBD vs. Nick Margevicius (1-2, 3.60).
Wednesday — San Diego, 12:40 p.m. Felix Hernandez vs. Chris Paddack (0-0, 1.29).
About the Angels (8-9): Before the Mariners went on their impressive road trip to Chicago and Kansas City two weeks ago, they quietly swept the Angels in a two-game series.
Stratton pitched the first game for Los Angeles, and much like it has to several starting pitchers early on, Seattle’s offense tore him up early. He allowed four runs in the first framed, and worked through just 4 1/3 innings while walking two and striking out one.
Cahill fared better, becoming the first starting pitcher this season to complete six innings against the Mariners this season, but left without a decision. He held the Mariners scoreless in the first three innings, and allowed one run on three hits while striking out five. Daniel Vogelbach’s solo shot to center in the eighth was the difference, eventually handing the Mariners the win.
Both Cahill and Stratton will turn up again this series against a Mariners offense that has significantly slowed down.
Angels slugger Mike Trout is also back after a groin injury suffered against the Brewers on April 9 kept him out of the lineup for about a week. Trout, Los Angeles’ everyday center fielder, returned Monday against Texas, but has exclusively played designated hitter. His 33 career home runs against the Mariners are the most he’s hit against any opposing club.
About the Padres (11-8): The Mariners got their first look at Fernando Tatis Jr. in spring training, and saw him twice in a pair of exhibition games just before beginning their opening homestand at the end of March.
In the three weeks since, the 20-year-old Padres shortstop, the youngest player to ever make an Opening Day lineup in San Diego, has emerged as an early candidate for NL Rookie of the Year. Tatis is the top prospect in San Diego’s organization, and No. 2 overall prospect in baseball, behind Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who currently plays for Triple-A Buffalo.
Tatis is slashing at .281/.347/.578, and leads the Padres with 12 RBIs. Tatis is also tied with Wil Myers for the team lead in homers with five.
If Tatis isn’t enough to handle offensively, the Mariners will also be reunited with former Orioles infielder Manny Machado, who signed with the Padres as a free agent in February. Machado is slashing at .254/.365/.460 and has four home runs this season.
A five-time All-Star, he spent his first six full seasons in the majors with Baltimore before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers midway through 2018. He played a full set of 162 games last season.