Bouncing back from being no-hit on Friday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers try to post their second straight win over the Seattle Mariners this afternoon as the clubs close out a three-game interleague set at Safeco Field.
The Dodgers, shut down by a collection of six pitchers two nights ago, responded with their fifth win in six games on Saturday thanks to an 8-3 battering of Seattle on the road. Jerry Hairston Jr. finished up 3-for-4 with two doubles, a homer and a career-high five RBI while James Loney, Elian Herrera and Juan Rivera each knocked in a run for Los Angeles as the team maintained a four-game lead over San Francisco for first place in the National League West standings.
"I've felt pretty good lately and I just want to make sure I have good at- bats," Hairston said. "After what happened last night (when they were no-hit) we just wanted to turn the page, it's a new day and I felt we did that today."
Now 2-0 lifetime against the Mariners, LA starter Clayton Kershaw allowed three runs on four hits and a pair of walks, while striking out a season-high 12 over seven innings to earn the win.
Seattle starter Justin Vargas was roughed up for five runs on nine hits over the course of six innings as he absorbed his five setback of the campaign.
Miguel Olivo connected on a three-run home run for the hosts in the bottom of the fourth inning, accounting for his team's entire run total as they fell 7 1/2 games back of Texas in the American League West standings.
Set to try and get the Mariners back into the win column this afternoon is Blake Beavan, owner of a 3-5 record thus far in 2012. The right-hander, just 8-11 in his career heading into the day, last pitched on Tuesday when he allowed six runs on 10 hits -- three home runs -- over five innings of work in a 6-1 loss to the Angels.
Prior to the loss versus the other LA team, Beavan had won consecutive decisions against Texas and Colorado.
As for the Dodgers, they have seven-year veteran Chad Billingsley ready to take the ball today. A pitcher who has yet to finish a single season with a losing record, Billingsley has struggled since winning his first two games of 2012 back in early April.
The right-hander made nine straight appearances without getting back into the win column, although that finally did happen on Tuesday when the Dodgers posted a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on the road. Billingsley made it through seven innings, allowing just a single run on six hits and a walk as he struck out three in the much-needed win.
The Ohio product has pitched against the Mariners only once previously and failed to earn a decision as he gave up just two runs on five hits, but walked four, in five innings.
Even though it was Seattle that put together the masterful effort on the mound two nights ago, it is the Dodgers who have the better overall pitching staff after 60 games. The squad is second in the majors in overall ERA at 3.22 and is also second in opponent batting average, allowing foes to hit just .230.
Seattle, which is an impressive 149-122 in interleague play, had won the previous four season series against the Dodgers, taking two of three each time dating back to 2000.
With a pair of three-game series lined up against both the Angels and White Sox at home next week and then visits to both the Oakland A's and the Angels the following week, the Dodgers, who are 110-131 in interleague, don't see another NL opponent until dropping in on San Francisco beginning June 25.