At last, the Mariners get a little breather in their schedule. Tonight marks the first of a four-game set against the last-place Rangers before the team heads back to Seattle for a six-game homestand against the Astros and Athletics.
Taking the mound for Texas is 25-year-old southpaw Robbie Ross Jr. Ross has been wavering between the rotation and bullpen all year, following a 12-game stint in Triple-A this summer. He’s 2-5 in 11 starts with the big league club and hanging onto 46 strikeouts, a 4.30 xFIP, and 0.2 fWAR through 70 1/3 innings pitched. In his last and most memorable outing this season, the left-hander nursed a no-hitter through five innings against the Astros, allowing three walks and striking out five of 18 batters faced. Manager Ron Washington pulled the starter after he hit 70 pitches, praising Ross’s effort but not wanting to exhaust him after a start in the minors only two nights earlier. Robbie’s smooth outing was wasted as the Astros shut out the Rangers 2-0. He hasn’t won one of his starts since April 15 – coincidentally, one of only two starts he’s made against Seattle.
Roenis Elias will make his third appearance against the Rangers this evening. He’s enjoying a productive season so far, what with a 3.89 xFIP and 1.4 fWAR through 26 starts, but has also been the unlucky recipient of abysmal run support. Since June 28, Elias has received two or more runs of support in just three of 10 appearances, including a 13-run explosion against the White Sox in early August. His last start was also his longest since June 28, when the 26-year-old went six innings with six hits, three runs, two walks, and five strikeouts in the Mariners’ 3-1 loss to the Nationals.
All that said, here is a far more encouraging tweet from Ryan Divish:
Kyle Seager on hitting .355 with 14 2Bs, 6 HRs, 19 RBI and 1.011 OPS at Ballpark in Arlington: "I hit here the way Cano hits everywhere."— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) September 4, 2014
- Mariners @ Rangers, 5:05 p.m. PST
- Today's game will be televised on ROOT Sports, broadcast on 770 KTTH and 570 KVI (710 KIRO will broadcast the Seahawks-Packers game at 5:30 p.m.), and available to out-of-market fans at MLB TV here.
- Second wild card status: The Mariners are just half a game back from catching Detroit for the second wild card following their 2-1 win over the A's yesterday and the White Sox' 7-0 shutout. The Tigers will go head-to-head against the Indians this afternoon at 4:05 p.m. PST.
- Per Shannon Drayer, Lloyd McClendon has decided to keep Chris Young in the rotation to take the start on Saturday against the Rangers. Taijuan Walker will remain in the bullpen for the time being.
|SEATTLE MARINERS||TEXAS RANGERS|
|Austin Jackson - CF||Dan Robertson - CF|
|Dustin Ackley - LF||Elvis Andrus - SS|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Alex Rios - RF|
|Kendrys Morales - 1B||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Ryan Rua - 1B|
|Corey Hart - DH||Adam Rosales - DH|
|Chris Denorfia - RF||J.P. Arencibia - C|
|Chris Taylor - SS||Rougned Odor - 2B|
|Jesus Sucre - C||Michael Choice - LF|
|Roenis Elias - LHP||Robbie Ross - LHP|