The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will look to complete a sweep of the Seattle Mariners when the two teams collide this afternoon in the finale of a three-game set at Safeco Field.
The Angels, who will try for their fifth straight win today, will send former Mariner Joel Pineiro to the mound. He has struggled of late, however, winning just once in his last eight starts.
The last time the right-hander was on the hill, he went eight innings against Kansas City on Tuesday, but still allowed six runs on 10 hits en route to a loss. It was the fourth road defeat on the year for the crafty veteran, who has been tattooed away from home, accumulating an atrocious ERA of 8.89.
This will be the first career start for Pineiro against the Mariners, but he has made two brief relief appearances against his one-time team, allowing one run on two hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings.
Fresh off his first win in nearly a month, Jason Vargas will try to make it back-to-back victories when he toes the rubber for Seattle today. The last time Vargas was in action he twirled a gem against Minnesota, holding the Twins to just one run in seven innings on Tuesday.
After defeating the Twins at home, it is clear that Vargas is very comfortable pitching in the confines of Safeco Field, where the left-hander is 4-1 this season with an equally-impressive 2.36 ERA.
Vargas put forth an impressive showing against the Angels earlier this season, allowing one unearned run in 7 1/3 innings of work back on May 9. Vargas, who earned a win in the matchup, scattered four hits, while also striking out four batters in that game.
In his career against the Halos, Vargas is 2-0 with a 2.20 earned run average.
On Saturday, Ervin Santana allowed one run in six solid innings and Torii Hunter continued his torrid stretch at the plate with three hits and three RBI as the Angels remained hot with an 11-2 rout of the Mariners.
Santana (6-3) won his fifth consecutive start after scattering seven hits and three walks while fanning two for Los Angeles, which has won four straight and seven of eight to move two games above .500 (30-28) for the first time all season.
"He probably didn't have as good of stuff as he had the last outing, but even when he doesn't have his great stuff he's really commanding the ball well," said Angels interim manager Ron Roenicke, who was filling in for Mike Scioscia while the regular skipper attends his daughter's high school graduation. "His slider's been outstanding for quite a while now, for those five games certainly."
Hunter, meanwhile, has driven in at least one run in four consecutive games and has nine RBI in that stretch. Maicer Izturis and Howie Kendrick each added two hits, two RBI and two runs scored in the victory.
Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-3 and scored his 1,000th career run for the Mariners, who have lost two straight after a three-game win streak. Ryan Rowland-Smith, starting for the first time since May 17, gave up just one run in five innings, but Garrett Olson (0-1) allowed three runs while recording just one out to receive the loss.
Los Angeles has won six of eight meetings with Seattle this season and 11 of the past 15 encounters between the AL West inhabitants.