Current Conditions - Philadelphia
P/SUNNY 79 °F
Wind: N 5
Seattle Mariners (68-57) at Philadelphia Phillies (55-71)
Wednesday, August 20 - 1:05 PM EST
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
James Paxton has set the bar pretty high in his first nine major league starts. The Seattle rookie left-hander puts his unblemished career record on the line Wednesday when the Mariners wrap up their three-game road series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Paxton enters this matchup having posted a 1.88 ERA and a .189 opponents' batting average in his first nine starts, five of which have come this season.
The Mariners have won 11 of their last 14 games and are in a virtual tie for the second American League wild-card spot after a 5-2 triumph in Tuesday's contest as Hisashi Iwakuma delivered eight scoreless innings and Kyle Seager hit his 19th homer. The Phillies, who narrowly avoided their 14th shutout of the season with two runs in the ninth, have dropped six of their last eight games. However, Philadelphia has to feel good handing the ball to Cole Hamels, who is hoping to get into the win column for the first time this month.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, ROOT (Seattle), CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners LH James Paxton (3-0, 2.20 ERA) vs. Phillies LH Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.44)
Paxton has not given up more than three runs in any of his nine major league starts and is coming off a six-inning effort against Detroit in which he yielded one run in a 7-2 victory. Left-handed batters are only 3-for-19 this season against Paxton, who has not allowed an RBI to a southpaw all year. The 25-year-old Canadian has made three starts since coming off the disabled list due to a strained lat muscle, limiting the opposition to four runs over 16 2/3 innings (2.16 ERA).
Hamels gave up three runs and nine hits over seven innings against San Francisco his last time out, snapping a streak of five straight starts in which he allowed no more than one run. One minor concern for Hamels may be that he has walked five batters in his last two starts after issuing a total of two free passes over his previous four outings. Hamels obviously does not have much experience against Seattle, although he is quite familiar with Logan Morrison, who is 6-for-19 with three walks against the former World Series MVP.
1. Seager, who struck out three times Tuesday, has not been punched out multiple times in consecutive games since May 11 and 12.
2. Philadelphia CF Ben Revere, who went 0-for-4 on Tuesday, has not gone hitless in back-to-back contests since July 18 and 19.
3. Mariners LF Dustin Ackley is 4-for-7 with three doubles and two walks in the series.
PREDICTION: Mariners 2, Phillies 1