Seattle Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert has made himself at home on the road this season, while Texas Rangers hurler Spencer Howard has yet to get comfortable at Globe Life Field in his career.
Gilbert looks to continue his torrid stretch and extend the Mariners’ winning streak to 13 games on Saturday when they play the third contest of a four-game series in Arlington, Texas. Seattle is three victories shy of matching its franchise-best winning streak of 15 set in 2001.
The 25-year-old Gilbert (10-3, 2.80 ERA) boasts a 6-1 record with a 2.47 ERA in 10 road starts this season. He is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in five career starts versus Texas, including 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two starts this season.
Gilbert, however, has struggled with the home-run ball. He has been taken deep seven times in his last five trips to the mound, including twice in a no-decision against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. He matched season highs by allowing four runs on nine hits versus the Blue Jays.
Gilbert would be wise to pitch carefully around Corey Seager, who continued to tune up for the upcoming Home Run Derby by going deep for the seventh time in his last 10 games and 22nd of the season in Texas’ 8-3 setback on Friday. Seager is carrying an eight-game RBI streak into Saturday’s encounter.
Leody Taveras belted a two-run homer to trim the Rangers’ deficit to one run in the seventh inning before Seattle rookie Julio Rodriguez responded with his first career grand slam in the eighth.
“We fought, man. We got within one run, and you could feel the momentum and we were one pitch away,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said.
“It’s heartbreaking, but like I’ve said many times this year, we have to bounce back and come back tomorrow.”
Howard, 25, will do his best to turn around the Rangers’ fortunes.
Howard (1-1, 8.04) picked up his first win after permitting two runs (one earned) on six hits in five innings of a 10-8 victory over the visiting Oakland Athletics on Monday.
He owns a 9.00 ERA without registering a decision in two career starts against Seattle.
Howard’s ERA at Globe Life Field is even higher than that. He is 1-3 with a 9.95 ERA in seven career games (six starts) in Arlington, Texas.
He’ll need to tread carefully around Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez and Adam Frazier, among others.
Rodriguez, who will compete in the Home Run Derby, showed his excitement while circling the bases after his grand slam.
“I feel like this is a beautiful game,” Rodriguez told USA Today. “And the more people that play this game, the more fun it’s going to be.
“Anything I can do to help grow the game and keep opening doors for kids, I’m definitely down for that and something I have in mind to do.”
Suarez has reached base in 19 of his last 20 games, while Frazier is batting 10-for-24 (.417) over his last seven contests.
The Mariners reinstated first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana from the restricted list on Saturday morning. He was placed on the list Friday due to a family emergency.
–Field Level Media