Losers of two straight to conclude a 4-6 home stand, the Mariners used the off-day Thursday to send down to AAA Tacoma RHP Hector Noesi, the losingest pitcher on the American League's losingest team, and call up Carlos Peguero, who over his last 12 games hit .342 with six home runs and 12 RBIs.
Peguero, 25, will join the team in Oakland Friday, where the Mariners play three against the A's to end a grim first half. The All-Star Game break follows, which is when the Mariners will "evaluate everything," according to manager Eric Wedge. That would seem mandatory -- and here, traditional -- at the break when the club, is hopelessly out of contention, even after MLB expanded the playoffs.
Peguero's hot bat pushed his season average to .293 with 8 doubles, a triple, 18 home runs -- third in the Pacific Coast League --and 41 RBI in 49 games with the Rainiers. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound left-handed hitter is batting .344 (22x64) vs. left-handed pitching.
He has homered in each of his last five games, including a grand slam yesterday at Salt Lake. Peguero missed a month of the season (April 8-May 9) after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
In 2011, Peguero made his MLB debut with Seattle and, in 46 games over two stints, showed he was not ready to hit big-league pitching. He hit six home runs and drove in 19 runs while hitting .196. He struck out 54 times in 143 at-bats.
After a loss to the Orioles Wednesday, Noesi's marks fell to 2-11, 5.77 (62 ER in 96.2 IP) in 17 starts. He has lost his last eight consecutive decisions since May 12, a span of 11 starts.
The Mariners are 6-4 against the Athletics this season, winning twice in Oakland early but losing two of three to the improving A's last week at Safeco.
Kevin Millwood, who missed his last start to rest a strained right groin, is slated to pitch Friday against Tommy Milone. A look at the weekend's starters:FRIDAY: RHP Kevin Millwood (3-6, 4.00) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (8-6, 3.73)Millwood: Millwood returns after skipping a start due to the recurrence of discomfort in his previously injured right groin. The 37-year-old veteran has left mid-game twice this season due to the same injury. He's 0-1, 6.39 ERA with 10 strikeouts in his past three starts. Vs. Oakland: 0-0, 3.38 in one game this season; lasted just 2.2 innings last time, June 27 .Milone: Milone was partially a victim of his defense in his last outing against the Rangers. He gave up six runs, one earned, thanks to three errors by the A's. Milone is unbeaten at home with a 0.99 ERA. He's 2-1, 0.86 ERA with 13 strikeouts in his last three outings. Vs. Seattle: 1-1, 2.77 in two starts this season; blanked the Mariners 1-0 at Safeco Field June 25; five strikeouts, no walks.SATURDAY: LHP Jason Vargas (7-7, 4.31) vs. RHP Jarrod Parker (5-3, 2.46)Vargas: Even though he allowed just one run on five hits through eight innings, Vargas had a no-decision last time. The left-hander has given up a career-high-tying 22 home runs this season. He's 0-1, 6.16 with 18 strikeouts in his last three. Vs. Oakland: 1-0, 2.45 in three starts against Oakland; 16 strikeouts to five walks; two home runs; had a career-high 10 strikeouts last time(June 26).Parker: Parker allowed one run against Boston in his last outing, marking the seventh time in his last eight starts that he's given up one run or less. According to MLB, Parker is the first player to allow one run or less in 10 of his first 14 career starts since 1918. He's 2-0, 1.37 with 16 strikeouts in his last three. Vs. Seattle: 1-0, 1.29 ERA in one start. On June 29, he allowed the Mariners one run on three hits over seven innings and fanned nine in a 2-1 victory.SUNDAY: RHP Felix Hernandez (6-5, 3.26) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (6-7, 4.05)Hernandez: Mariners' ace exited after allowing the Orioles to get to him in the sixth inning for four runs on just 90 pitches Tuesday. Coming off a 128-pitch start, though, Hernandez should be fresher for his final start before the All-Star break. He's 2-0, 2.11 with 31 strikeouts in his last three. Vs. Oakland: 1-1, 3.80 in three starts this season; 19 strikeouts to four walks; one home run. Win over Oakland came in a game (April 7) in which Fernandez allowed six earned runs.Colon: Colon was effective his last time out, his first start since coming off the disabled list, holding the Red Sox to two runs over six innings. His two-seam fastball wasn't as sharp as normal, but he compensated with a higher velocity four-seam fastball. Colon is 1-1, 4.85 ERA with nine strikeouts in his past three outings. Vs. Seattle: 2-1, 3.72 ERA in three starts; 14 strikeouts to just two walks; one home run. Hasn't faced Seattle since April.The Mariners reached the Fourth of July with a record of 35-49, 16.0 games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West, and 6.5 games behind the third-place Athletics. Only three editions of the Mariners have had a deficit as large as 16.0 games on July 4. Mariner teams farthest in arrears on America's birthday:
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