GAME: Angels 20-25, 4th AL West, - 7.0 GB) atMariners (21-25, 3rd, AL West, - 6.5 GB). GAME #: 47. SERIES: 1st of 4 games. MEETING: 1st. WHEN: Thursday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Dan Haren (Los Angeles, 1-5, 4.37) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle, 5-3, 3.34). STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Angels W 2. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.
Interesting race, this AL West: Most expected the Rangers to win it, if not run away with it, but Texas has so far failed to separate itself. Expected to contend after adding Albert Pujols ($240 million, batting .213), the enigmatic Angels, working with a $154.9 million payroll, have stumbled. It figured Seattle or Oakland would become bottom feeders early and wage a 162-game spat for third place. Hasn't happened.
The Mariners, just off a series win over division-leading Texas, entertain the Angels for the first time this season Thursday. It's been all Angels in recent years: the Mariners haven't won a season series since 2003.
Jason Vargas, who won his last start at Colorado, will go against Dan Haren, 10-5 lifetime against Seattle. A closer look:MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (5-3, 3.34 ERA, 1.02 WHIP)
The 29-year-old Vargas, in his seventh major league season and fifth with the Mariners, will make his 11th start and first against the Angels. Vargas is coming off a 10-3 (May 19) victory over the Colorado Rockies.
A native of Apple Valley, CA., the 6-0, 215-pound Vargas was selected in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins.
He made his debut with Florida July 14, 2005, pitching one inning of relief in a 13-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Mariners acquired Vargas as part of a three-team swap Dec. 11, 2008, when the New York Mets sent him along with Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto and Aaron Heilman to the Mariners. The Mariners sent Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed to the Mets.
The Mariners also sent Luis Valbuena to the Indians. The Mets sent Joe Smith to the Indians, who sent Franklin Gutierrez to the Mariners.
Vargas, the only lefty in Seattle’s starting rotation, has a career record of 33-42, 4.41ERA, including 27-34, 4.09 ERA with the Mariners.
- LAST START: May 19 at Coors Field, won his fifth decision, defeating Colorado 10-3; allowed three earned runs on five hits over 7.0 innings; struck out one, walked one; one home run; threw 95 pitches, 64 for strikes.
- LAST VS. ANGELS: Aug. 5, 2011, at Anaheim Stadium, took a no-decision in Seattle's 1-0 loss; did not allow a run on seven hits over 6.0 innings; struck out three, walked one, throwing 111 pitches, 67 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. ANGELS: 3-3, 2.39 ERA in 10 games, including nine starts, covering 64.0 innings; has 47 strikeouts to 13 walks; averages 6.4 strikeouts per 9 innings; seven home runs.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 18-15, 3.45 ERA in 48 games, including 44 starts, covering 284.1 innings; averages 6.2 strikeouts per nine innings; has permitted 25 home runs.
- LOVES TO FACE: Maicer Izturis (0-for-8, .000 BA), Peter Bourjos (1-for-13, .077 BA), Torii Hunter (5-for-23, .217 BA), Erick Aybar (6-for-27, .222 BA).
- HATES TO FACE: Albert Pujols (3-for-7, .429 BA), Mark Trumbo (3-for-9, .333 BA), Howard Kendrick (8-for-28, .286 BA).
- CURRENT ANGELS VS. VARGAS: 33-for-150, .220 BA, 2 HRs, 30 strikeouts.
- March 29 (ND, 0-0): Pitched well enough to win in Tokyo, but after he departed the game, the bullpen imploded, surrendering three home runs, greasing Seattle’s 4-1 defeat to Oakland.
- April 6 (W, 1-0): Threw 91 pitches, 58 for strikes, finishing with an in-game ERA of 2.31 in a 7-3 victory over Oakland, Vargas’ first win.
- April 12 (L, 1-1): Allowed four earned runs on seven hits and lost to Derek Holland and the Rangers 5-3 in Arlington; fanned six and walked one; gave up a two-run bomb to Michael Young, who had four RBIs; threw 96 pitches, 63 strikes.
- April 18 (W, 2-1): Allowed one earned run on four hits over 7 innings, defeating Indians, 4-1; had nine ground-ball outs and nine fly-ball outs.
- April 24 (W, 3-1): Allowed four runs on six hits, defeating Max Scherzer and the Tigers 7-4 in a game in which the Mariners banged out 15 hits; struck out four, walked one in a 94-pitch effort that included 61 strikes.
- April 29 (L, 3-2): Allowed two earned runs on four hits over 6.0 innings and suffered the loss to the Blue Jays; struck out four, walked three; threw a season-high 111 pitches, 60 for strikes.
- May 4 (ND, 3-2): Took a no-decision in Seattle’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota at Safeco Field; allowed one earned run on four hits over 6.1 innings, but lost a chance to win on Wilhelmsen’s throwing error.
- May 9 (W, 4-2): Defeated Detroit 2-1 at Safeco Field; allowed one run on five hits over 8.0 innings; struck out six and didn’t issue a walk; threw 90 pitches, 66 for strikes.
- May 14 (L, 4-3): At Fenway Park, lost to Red Sox 6-1; allowed five earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings; struck out three, walked three; two home runs.
- May 19 (W, 5-3): At Coors Field, won his fifth decision of the year, defeating Colorado 10-3; allowed three earned runs on five hits over 7.0 innings; struck out one, walked one and gave up one home run; threw 95 pitches, 64 for strikes.
The 31-year-old Haren, in his 10th major league season, third with the Angels, is making his 10th start, and first against the Mariners.
A native of Monterey Park, CA., the 6-5, 215-pound Haren pitched for Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA., was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round of the 2001 amateur draft.
Haren pitched in the St. Louis system for two years and made his major league debut June 30, 2003, taking a 5-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. He allowed two runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings.
Haren had a 6-10 MLB record when the Cardinals, on Dec. 18, 2004, traded him, along with Daric Barton and Kiko Calero to the Oakland Athletics for Mark Mulder.
Haren pitched for the Athletics from 2005-07, producing his bet season in 2007 when he won 15 games. On Dec. 4, 2007, the Athletics traded Haren, along with Connor Robertson, to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland and Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith.
Haren pitched for three years in Arizona, his best year coming in 2008 when he won 16 and lost eight.
The Diamondbacks traded Haren to the Los Angeles Angels July 25, 2010.
Haren is a three-time All-Star (2007-09) and finished fifth in the 2009 Cy Young voting. Haren has a career record of 108-89, 3.61 ERA.
- 2012: Haren pitched into the sixth inning in six of his starts. He had his best start April 28 at Cleveland, allowing one run on four hits in 8.0 innings. He has been shelled twice, allowing five earned runs April 7 vs. Kansas City and May 8 at Minnesota.
- LAST START: May 19 at San Diego, lost to the Padres 3-2; allowed three earned runs on six hits over 6.2 innings; fanned five and walked one.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Sept. 5, 2011, defeated Seattle 7-3; gave up 10 hits but three earned runs, including a home run to Brendan Ryan; struck out three, walked none.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 10-5, 2.60 ERA in 19 starts, covering 128.0 innings; fanned 106 of 532, and averaged 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings; eight home runs.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 4-2, 2.27 ERA in nine starts, covering 63.1 innings; has 55 strikeouts to 14 walks; averages 7.9 strikeouts per 9.
- LOVES TO FACE: Justin Smoak (1-for-13, .077 BA), John Jaso (2-for-10, .200 BA), Ichiro (15-for-65, .227 BA, 4 K’s).
- HATES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (4-for-8, .500 BA), Dustin Ackley (4-for-9, .444 BA), Chone Figgins (10-for-35, .286 BA).
- CURRENT MARINRS VS. HAREN: 55-for-227, .242 BA, 2 HRs, 41 strikeouts.
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Three against Texas, four vs. Los Angeles Angels Thursday-Sunday.
- HOME STAND PROMOTIONS: Monday -- Thursday -- College Night; Friday -- Dustin Ackley Bobblehead Night (first 20,000 fans); Saturday -- Turn Back The Clock Night ('50s poster); Sunday -- Little League Day (Justin Smoak Growth Chart; Senior Special Day).
- MARINERS VS. ANGELS: Mariners 230-285all-time vs. Angels, including 52-61 at Safeco Field. Mariners lost the 2011 season series 12-7 and haven't beaten the Angels in a season series since 2003. Mariners have not swept a four-game series from the Angels at Safeco Field since 2001. Angels last swept a four-game series at Safeco Field in 2006.
- LATEST: Seattle's series win over Texas marked its first since May 3-5, 2011, when the Mariners took two out of three at Safeco Field . . . Seattle 3-4 vs. Texas this season after going 4-15 against the Rangers in 2011 . . . Seattle has won five of its past six games . . . Kevin Millwood has tossed 17 consecutive scoreless innings and is 3-4, 3.72 after starting 0-4, 5.88. Millwood is 3-0, 0.41 ERA in his past three starts . . . Alex Liddi's grand slam marked the first of his career and the second of 2012 by a Mariner (Michael Saunders April 27 at Toronto). Liddi's four RBIs also a career high . . . Mariners hitting .313 (10-for-32) with the bases loaded this season . . . One day after losing a game in which Texas got just four hits, the Mariners won a game with just four hits . . . Texas totaled just seven runs and 16 hits in the three-game series . . .Despite scoring five runs, Mariners went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position . . . Lucas Luetge has not allowed an earned run in his first 17 MLB appearances (11.2 innings), extending his franchise record . . . Mariners do not expect OF Franklin Gutierrez to return to the team until at least mid-June.
- SEASON SUMMARY: Series Record: Won 7, Split 0, Lost 8 . . . Sweeps: 2; Swept: 2 . . . Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27, May 18-21); Longest Losing Streak: 7 (April 28-May 4) . . . Vs. Divisions: vs. AL East:2-10; vs. AL Central: 8-9; vs. AL West: 8-6; vs NL West: 3-0 . . . Biggest Lead: 1.0, April 7; Farthest Behind: 8.5, May 18 . . . Most Runs Scored: 10, May 19 at Colorado; Most Runs Allowed: 11, April 9 at Texas . . . Walk-Off Wins: May 7, first since Sept. 14, 2011 vs. New York, and first via a sacrifice fly (John Jaso) since Sept. 14, 2007 vs. Tampa Bay (Jose Guillen); Walk-Off Losses: May 17, at Cleveland, Carlos Santana bases-loaded single off League in 11th . . . Times Opponent Shutout: 3; Times Shutout by Opponent: 5.
- BATTING: Mariners rank 10th (AL) in runs (176),12th in hits (358), eighth in doubles (74), first in triples (10) andninth in home runs (39) . . . Rank 13th in batting average (.232),13th in on-base percentage (.291), 12th in slugging (.369)and 13th in OPS (.660). . .batting 84-for-374 (.223) with runners in scoring position after going 2-for-9 Wednesday . . . out-homered 49-39 . . . left 280 men on base, opponents279 . . .scored 176runs, opponents 177 . . . scored97 of 174 runsin the first four innings . . . Mariners 18-6 when scoring 4+ runs . . . Mariners have homered in18 of last 29 games. . . batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th).
- BATTING EXTRA: Longest Hitting Streak: Dustin Ackley, 13 games, May 3-17 . . . Four-Hit Games: Ichiro, March 28 vs. Oakland; Justin Smoak, April 17 vs. Cleveland; Jesus Montero, May 1 at Tampa . . . Grand Slams:Michael Saunders, April 27 at Toronto; Alex Liddi, May 23 vs. Texas . . . Back-To-Back Home Runs: Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak, 3rd inning, May 20, at Colorado . . . Notable: Kyle Seager's single in the fourth inning April 17 marked the 50,000th hit in Mariners' history; Brendan Ryan's walk in the same frame scored Justin Smoak with the 25,000th run in franchise history . . . Montero's 13 RBIs in April were the most by a Mariners' rookie since 1986.
- PITCHING: Mariners rank eighth in ERA (3.87),fifth in hits allowed (361), sixth in runs allowed (183),ninth in home runs allowed (49), fourth in walks (131), sixth in strikeouts (330) . . . Felix Hernandez has 17 career no-decisions while throwing 7.0 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs . . . Closer Brandon League is 0-3 with nine saves and two blown saves.
- ICHIRO (0-for-4 Tuesday) has768 multi-hit games, which ranks fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro's 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players . . . Three-hit game April 30 marked the226th of his major league career . . . Ranks97th on career hitslist (2,481) and needs nine to tie No. 96 Fred McGriff . . . Has recorded 99 outfield assists. Only Jeff Francouer, with 100, has more . . . With 96 career home runs, needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
- ODDS/ENDS: The Mariners will play seven games in the next seven days. Their next day off is May 31 . . . Mariners have three more bobblehead nights: Friday (Dustin Ackley), June 15 (Felix Hernandez), July 28 (Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson).
- DEBUTS: Munenori Kawasaki (April 7), Lucas Luetge (April 7), Erasmo Ramirez (April 9), Hisashi Iwakuma (April 20).
- DISABLED LIST: Miguel Olivo (15-day, May 1, strained right groin), George Sherrill (15-day, April 13, strained flexor bundle), Franklin Gutierrez (15-day, March 28, torn pectoral muscle; plantar fascitis), Adam Moore (15-day, March 28, fractured wrist).
- EX-MARINERS VS. CURRENT MARINERS: April 19, Jack Hannahan, Indians, 2-run single in ninth off Brandon League in Tribe's 2-1 win; April 28, Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays, one earned run over 7.0 innings in 7-0 win; May 11, Raul Ibanez, Yankees, 3-run homer off Felix Hernandez in 6-2 win; May 12, Raul Ibanez, Yankees, solo homer off Hector Noesi in 6-2 win; May 15, David Ortiz, Red Sox, solo homer off Blake Beaven in 5-0 Red Sox win; May 16, Shin-Soo Choo (3), Asdrubal Cabrera (2) and Jose Lopez (1) combine for 6 hits in 9-3 Cleveland win; May 17, Casey Kotchman (2), Cabrera (2), Jose Lopez (1), Choo (1) six of Cleveland's 10 hits, plus 5 RBIs, in a 6-5 win.
- April 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo matched the franchise record when he was charged with three passed balls in a 7-4 win at Detroit. Jerry Narron let three balls get by him Oct. 4, 1980, and Jeff Clement did likewise Aug. 10, 2008 (Clement was catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey).
- April 27: Michael Saunders joined Donnie Scott (April 29, 1985) and Jimmy Presley (April 8, 1986) as the only Mariners to hit two home runs in a game in the ninth inning or later (solo homer in the 9th, grand slam in the 10th).
- April 30: When both Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero homered, it marked the first time in franchise history that two players had homered in the same game as a catcher.
- May 2: Ichiro set a club record for most putouts by a right fielder in a nine-inning game, registering 10 in a 5-4 loss at Tampa.
- May 3: The Mariners featured a lineup at Tampa Bay that included seven left- handed hitters and two switch-hitters. It marked only the third time in club history that the Mariners used an all left-sided lineup. Others: Aug. 13, 1983 at California and Aug. 9, 1983 at Oakland.
- May 5: Combined one-hitter by Felix Hernandez and Steve Delabar vs. Minnesota was the 13th in Mariners history. Ten have been thrown by one pitcher, three combined. Most recent combined: Michael Pineda, Jeff Gray and Brandon League vs. Tampa, July 30, 2011. Most recent by one pitcher: Jarrod Washburn, July 6, 2009.
- May 9: When John Jaso batted leadoff against Detroit, it marked the first time since 1978 that a catcher had hit first for the Marines (Bob Stinson). Oddly, lefty Jaso led off against Tiger lefty Drew Smyly.
- May 8: Kevin Millwood's 2-0 shutout marked his first in nearly nine years. He did not surrender his first hit until there were two outs in the sixth. Millwood's gem marked only the fourth time in 1,440 games at Coors Field that an opposing pitcher held the Rockies to two hits or less while shutting them out. Millwood's complete game also was the first by a Mariner in 2012.
|Rec.||Home||Road||Day||Night||vs. RHP||vs. LHP||Hit HR||No HR|
|5/24||Thr||vs. LAA||Jason Vargas (5-3, 3.34) vs. Dan Haren (1-5, 4.37)|
|5/25||Fri||vs. LAA||Blake Beavan (2-4, 4.46) vs. Ervin Santana (2-6, 4.22)|
|5/26||Sat||vs. LAA||Felix Hernandez (4-3, 2.80) vs. Jerome Williams (4-2, 3.74)|
|5/27||Sun||vs. LAA||Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.26) vs. C.J. Wilson (5-4, 2.90)|
|Gm.#||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|1||3/28||at Oak||W, 3-1||1-0||W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)|
|2||3/29||at Oak||L, 4-1||1-1||W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)|
|Gm. #||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|3||4/6||at Oak||W, 7-3||2-1||W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)|
|4||4/7||at Oak||W, 8-7||3-1||W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)|
|5||4/9||at Tex||L, 11-5||3-2||W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)|
|6||4/10||at Tex||L, 1-0||3-3||W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)|
|7||4/11||at Tex||W, 4-3||4-3||W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)|
|8||4/12||at Tex||L, 5-3||4-4||W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1|
|9||4/13||vs Oak||L, 4-0||4-5||W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)|
|10||4/14||vs. Oak||W, 4-0||5-5||W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)|
|11||4/15||vs. Oak||W, 5-3||6-5||W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)|
|12||4/17||vs. Cle||L, 9-8||6-6||W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)|
|13||4/18||vs. Cle||W, 4-1||7-6||W: Vargas (2-1); L: Lowe (2-1)|
|14||4/19||vs. Cle||L, 2-1||7-7||W: Tomlin (1-1); L: League (0-1)|
|15||4/20||vs. CWS||L, 7-3||7-8||W: Sale (2-1); L: Noesi (1-2)|
|16||4/21||vs. CWS||L, 4-0||7-9||W: Humber (1-0); Beavan (1-2)|
|17||4/22||vs. CWS||L, 7-4||7-10||W: Danks (2-2); L: Millwood (0-1)|
|18||4/24||at Det||W, 7-4||8-10||W: Vargas (3-1); L: Scherzer (1-2)|
|19||4/25||at Det||W, 9-1||9-10||W: Fernandez (2-1); L: Wilk (0-3)|
|20||4/26||at Det||W, 5-4||10-10||W: Furbush (1-1); L: Porcello (1-2)|
|21||4/27||at Tor||W, 9-5||11-10||W: Furbush (2-1); L: Perez (2-1)|
|22||4/28||at Tor||L, 7-0||11-11||W: Morrow (2-1); L: Millwood (0-2)|
|23||4/29||at Tor||L, 7-2||11-12||W: Alvarez (1-2); L: Vargas (3-2)|
|24||4/30||at TB||L, 3-2||11-13||W: Howell (1-0); L: League (0-2)|
|Gm. #||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|25||5/1||at TB||L, 3-1||11-14||W: Moore (1-1); L: Noesi (1-3)|
|26||5/2||at TB||L, 5-4||11-15||W: Shields (5-0); L: Beavan (1-3)|
|27||5/3||at TB||L, 4-3||11-16||W: Niemann (2-3); L: Millwood (0-3)|
|28||5/4||vs. Min||L, 3-2||11-17||W: Pavano (2-2); L: Wilhelmsen (1-1)|
|29||5/5||vs. Min||W, 7-0||12-17||W: Hernandez (3-1); L: Marquis (2-1)|
|30||5/6||vs. Min||W, 5-2||13-17||W: Noesi (2-3): L: Blackburn (0-4)|
|31||5/7||vs. Det||W, 3-2||14-17||W: Delabar (1-0); L: Dotel (1-1)|
|32||5/8||vs. Det||L, 6-4||14-18||W: Verlander (3-1); L: Millwood (0-4)|
|33||5/9||vs. Det||W, 2-1||15-18||W: Vargas (4-2); L: Putkoen (0-1)|
|34||5/11||at NYY||L, 6-2||15-19||W: Kuroda (3-4); L: Hernandez (3-2)|
|35||5/12||at NYY||L, 6-2||15-20||W: Hughes (3-4); L: Noesi (2-4)|
|36||5/13||at NYY||W, 6-2||16-20||W: Millwood (1-4); L: Pettitte (0-1)|
|37||5/14||at Bos||L, 6-1||16-21||L: Lester (2-3); L: Vargas (4-3)|
|38||5/15||at Bos||L, 5-0||16-22||W: Beckett (3-4); L: Beavan (1-4)|
|39||5/16||at Cle||L, 9-3||16-23||W: Jimenez (4-3): L: Hernandez (3-3)|
|40||5/17||at Cle||L, 6-5||16-24||W: Smith (4-1); L: League (0-3)|
|41||5/18||at Col||W, 4-0||17-24||W: Millwood (2-4); L: White (0-3)|
|42||5/19||at Col||W, 10-3||18-24||W: Vargas (5-3); L: Friedrich (1-1)|
|43||5/20||at Col||W, 6-4||19-24||W: Beavan (2-4); L: Guthrie (2-2)|
|44||5/21||vs. Tex||W, 6-1||20-24||W: Hernandez (4-3); L: Darvish (6-2)|
|45||5/22||vs. Tex||L, 3-1||20-25||W: Harrison (5-3): L: Noesi (2-5)|
|46||5/23||vs. Tex||W, 5-3||21-25||W: Millwood (3-4); L: Feldman (0-2)|