Friday, June 17, 2011
Posted: 12:01 p.m.
Phillies (44-26) vs. Mariners (35-34), 10:10 p.m. on CSN
Phillies: Roy Oswalt (4-4, 3.14) had been 0-4 over a six-start stretch before beating the Cubs on Sunday. He gave up three runs in seven innings to earn his first win since April 21. Oswalt has not struck out more than five batters in any of his last seven starts.
Mariners: Michael Pineda (6-4, 2.72) is having a nice season, though he is coming off his worst start of 2011. The rookie right-hander was torched for six runs in 5 13 innings in Saturday's 8-1 loss to the Tigers. Pineda has not received much run support of late, as the Mariners have managed a total of one run in each of his last three starts.
The Phillies swept a four-game set from the Marlins this week, capped by Thursday afternoon's 3-0 triumph - the team's seventh straight win. Cliff Lee twirled a two-hit shutout and added two hits of his own, including an RBI double. Ryan Howard supplied a solo homer - his 15th blast of the season.
The Mariners are coming off a series against the Angels in which they lost the first two games before recovering to salvage the finale. In Wednesday's 3-1 victory, the Mariners received seven terrific innings from Erik Bedard, a two-run single from Carlos Peguero and a solo homer from Greg Halman.
The Phillies are 1-5 all-time against the Mariners, though they have not faced them since dropping two of three at Safeco Field in 2005.
Chase Utley has eight hits, including four doubles, a triple and two homers, in his last five games. He has eight RBIs over that stretch, though he sat out Thursday's contest. Shane Victorino has recorded multiple hits in five of his last seven games. Jimmy Rollins has seven RBIs in his last four games. Howard has hit safely in six straight games, though he only has recorded multiple hits once in that stretch.
For Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki is 10-for-21 in his last five games. Chone Figgins is 4-for-12 with two doubles in his last three games.
It will be interesting to see how the Phillies, coming off four games in 45 hours followed by a cross-country flight, respond early on this road trip. ... Seattle's top prospect, second baseman Dustin Ackley, is expected to make his major league debut tonight. Ackley, the second overall pick in 2009, has been compared to Chase Utley. ... The Mariners are 3-0 in interleague play this season, having swept the Padres last month. They are 13-5 against NL opponents at home since 2009. ... Ichiro is 4-for-7 all-time against Oswalt.
Do you still think Cliff Lee has been disappointing through the first three months of the season?