Iwakuma puts unbeaten July on line against Orioles
(SportsNetwork.com) - Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma aims to remain unbeaten in July on Thursday night when the Seattle Mariners play the first of four straight meetings with the Baltimore Orioles.
Iwakuma is 3-0 with a 1.57 earned run average in four starts this month and has not walked a batter in 28 2/3 innings over that time. He has been a solid part of Seattle's rotation all season, going 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA.
The 33-year-old picked up a no-decision versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday, charged with two runs on six hits over seven innings.
Iwakuma will face the Orioles for just the second time in his major league career and for the first time since a no-decision in 2012.
Seattle will try to back its hurler after struggling at the plate in Wednesday's 3-2 setback to the New York Mets in the rubber match of a three- game series.
The Mariners did not get their first hit off Mets starter Bartolo Colon until a two-out single by Robinson Cano in the seventh inning. They then scored twice in the eighth frame, but still lost for the fifth time in seven games.
"We hit some balls decently hard there and made some plays. (Colon) threw well," said Seattle's Brad Miller, who drove in a run.
Baltimore will turn to right-hander Wei-Yin Chen for tonight's opener and he won his third straight start by beating Oakland 8-4 on Saturday. He yielded three runs on five hits and a walk over five innings.
Chen, who turned 29 on Monday, has struggled to go deep into games, but has allowed more than three runs just once in his last nine starts. He is 10-3 on the year with a 4.21 ERA.
Chen is 0-2 in four career starts against Seattle with a 4.56 ERA.
The Orioles were shooting for a three-game sweep of the Angels on Wednesday, but lost the finale 3-2 after Los Angeles scored twice in the eighth inning.
Chris Tillman gave up five hits over the first six innings for the AL East leaders, who were trying for their first three-game sweep in Anaheim since Aug. 27-29, 2010, but were victimized by the Angels' 31st come-from-behind win of the year.
"I felt good. It was a hit-and-miss tonight," Tillman said. "They have a good lineup. ... You have to tip your cap."
Manny Machado sat out his second straight game for the Orioles due to lower back spasms.
Baltimore leads the AL East by three games over both the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.
The Mariners won four of six versus the Orioles last season.
07/24 11:00:21 ET