The Phillies (44-26), in the midst of a hot streak that has seen them win 7 straight games, will head west for a 3-game interleague series with the Seattle Mariners (35-34) that begins Friday night.
Philadelphia has been riding stellar pitching during the recent streak of success. Phillies starting pitchers have combined to post a 1.80 ERA over the past 7 games.
The M's, who are 1/2 game behind Texas for 1st place in the American League West division standings, hope to benefit from the promotion of highly regarded prospect, infielder Dustin Ackley. The 2nd overall draft selection in the 2009 draft, Ackley had posted a .303 average with 9 homers and 35 RBI through 66 games with Triple A Tacoma.
These two teams have not met since the Mariners took 2 of 3 games from the Phillies at Seattle's Safeco Field in 2005.
Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups as well as other key statistics from this series.
Friday, 10:10PM. Roy Oswalt (4-4, 3.14 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (6-4, 2.72 ERA). Oswalt has posted a 2-2 record and a 2.90 ERA in 6 road starts this year. In his last 7 starts, Oswalt has a 1-4 record and a 3.92 ERA. Adam Kennedy is 7-for-17 (.412 avg) in his career against Oswalt. In 6 home starts, Pineda has posted a 3-1 record and a 2.06 ERA. In his last 4 starts, Pineda is 0-2 with a 4.07 ERA. The rookie right-hander Pineda has held opponents to a .208 batting average this season.
Saturday, 10:10PM. Vance Worley (2-1, 3.75 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (7-5, 3.30 ERA). In 3 road games this season, Worley has a 0-1 record and a 7.71 ERA. Worley posted a 4-2 record and a 2.62 ERA in 8 starts for the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Hernandez is 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 6 starts at Safeco Field this season. In his last 4 starts, Hernandez is 1-2 with a 4.08 ERA. Placido Polanco is 7-for-18 (.389 avg) in his career against Hernandez.
Sunday, 4:10PM. Cole Hamels (9-2, 2.49 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (4-4, 4.13 ERA). Hamels is 4-0 with a 2.09 ERA and a .187 batting average against in 6 road starts this season. Adam Kennedy and Brendan Ryan are a combined 0-for-15 against Hamels. In 3 career outings against the Phillies, the lefty Vargas has no decisions and a 9.45 ERA. In his last 5 starts, Vargas is 1-2 with a 5.52 ERA. In 35 career games at Safeco Field, Vargas has a 12-10 record with a 3.33 ERA.
In 6 career games against Philadelphia, Ichiro Suzuki has a .321 average and a homerun. Ichiro has 5 consecutive multi-hit games heading into this series.
First baseman Justin Smoak, a key piece in the Texas trade for Cliff Lee last July, leads the Mariners in HR (12) and RBI (38). Smoak is batting just .233 since April.
Mariners closer Brandon League has a 1.72 ERA and is perfect in 11 save opportunities in 16 home games this season.
Ryan Howard has posted a .209 batting average in 29 road games this season. Also, in 48 night games in 2011, Howard has a .217 batting average.
In 21 career games at Safeco Field, Placido Polanco has a .241 batting average and a .575 OPS. Polanco is batting .352 against left-handers this season.
In his last 10 games, Chase Utley is 14-for-39 (.359 avg) with 4 doubles, 2 HR and 9 RBI.
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