Mariners Game Notes: Seattle Goes for Rare Series Win in Houston

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The Seattle Mariners (62-71) will go for a rare series win tonight in Houston against the Astros (73-60). First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 pm PT from Minute Maid Park. Taijuan Walker (10-7, 4.53 ERA) will be on the bump for Seattle in the series finale, and Scott Kazmir (2-4, 2.64 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Astros. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Seattle inched closer the American League West leading Astros with last night’s win, and they now sit 11 games back in the division. The Mariners are 7.5 games out in the wildcard race.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon has released the following lineup for tonight’s series finale:

Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch has released the following lineup for Houston on Wednesday night:

Pitching Preview

2015 is Taijuan Walker’s first full season in the big leagues, and as expected, he has struggled with consistency. Prince Tai has had some pretty high peaks and some low valleys this season. Regardless, Walker enters play with a winning record (10-7), and a sub 5 ERA (4.53) through 26 outings. He has fanned 145 and walked 37 across 153 innings pitched. Baserunners have been an issue for the young man, as he currently allows 1.209 walks/hits per inning. Walker is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in 3 starts against the Astros this season. Those numbers are not overly inspiring, but he did lead Seattle to a win in his last start versus Houston.

Scott Kazmir has excelled since being dealt to the upstart Astos in late July. The 31-year-old southpaw is 2-4 with a 2.64 ERA through 7 starts with Houston. He has struck out 36 and walked 13 across 44.1 innings. Kazmir allowed 3 runs on 3 hits over the course of 7 innings in a losing effort against the Minnesota Twins his last time out. Kazmir has not faced Seattle as a member of the Astros, but he did toe the rubber against the Mariners in July with the Oakland A’s. The Houston, TX product shut out the M’s for 8 innings en route to earning the win.

Pick to Click

Jun 9, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Stefen Romero (7) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners exploded for 6 runs last night, and combined to hit 3 home runs in the win. Franklin Gutierrez and Mark Trumbo are smoking hot these days, but I am going to go with one of the new guys for my pick to click tonight. Stefen Romero was recalled from Tacoma on Tuesday when the rosters were expanded. Romero was the forgotten man in Seattle, but he mashed this season with the Rainiers. The 26-year-old hit .292 with 17 home runs and 71 RBI in Tacoma. Romero sports a .400 batting average with 1 home run during his career against Kazmir. Wednesday’s game will be the Oregon State alum’s first appearance for the Mariners since last September, and I predict he will drive in a couple runs on a double for Seattle.

Final Score Prediction

The Mariners have not won a series in Houston since July 2014, but they have a chance to buck that trend tonight. Taijuan Walker is pitching better as of late, and hopefully that continues tonight. Scott Kazmir is a tough matchup, but the M’s have been much more effective offensively over the last month or so. The 2015 Mariners have been painful to watch, but a win tonight would provide fans with a brief moment of happiness. I predict Seattle will take the series tonight with a 5-3 win.

Next: Mariners Game Recap: M's Even Series with Astros

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