Brandon Maurer's Southern California homecoming took a bad turn Wednesday as the Angels jumped on the 22-year-old rookie for seven runs in three innings en route to a 7-1 victory.
From veteran Raul Ibanez's point of view, things could have gone much differently for the Mariners on their nine-game cross-country road trip.
Left fielder Jason Bay moved into the leadoff spot for just the second time in his career as manager Eric Wedge inserted a new look against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson.
Manager Eric Wedge hasn't faced the situation yet and hopes it never comes up, but if the Mariners needed an emergency third catcher to step in on his current roster he said he'd probably ask veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez.
Lefty Joe Saunders, who has struggled on the road but is 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA at home, pitches for the Mariners, as they play host to righty Justin Grimm and the first-place Rangers for the start of a three-game set on Friday night at Safeco Field.
Over the past 30 days, Justin Smoak ranks second among American League first baseman in on-base percentage (.422), fourth in batting average (.297), sixth in OPS (.922) and eighth in slugging percentage (.500).
Endy Chavez has seen his playing time dip since Michael Saunders returned from the disabled list, but the veteran outfielder has still found ways to contribute.
Mariners Hall of Famer Alvin Davis has been selected to represent the club at the 2013 First-Year Player Draft on June 6 at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J.
Aaron Harang got knocked around to the tune of seven runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings Tuesday in Anaheim, a 12-0 loss to the Angels.
While the Mariners have struggled, their crop of young players give them reason to be optimistic. If hitters like Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley get on track, they can help support a young group of pitchers waiting to come up from the Minors.
Closer Tom Wilhelmsen spoke for all his teammates Monday as the Mariners packed their gear in silence in the visitors' clubhouse at Progressive Field and prepared to head to Anaheim following the latest in a stunning series of losses, this one a 10-8 heartbreaker in 10 innings at Progressive Field. "We are glad to leave Cleveland," Wilhelmsen said.
Veteran right-hander Aaron Harang did some running and tests on Monday, and the Mariners plan on starting him Tuesday in Anaheim after he missed his last outing in New York due to lower back stiffness.
In three losses in Cleveland over the weekend, the Mariners were just 1-for-20 (.050) with runners in scoring position. Given the walk-off losses on Friday and Saturday, a clutch hit or two could have changed the complexion of the weekend dramatically.
Mariners right-hander Brandon Maurer grew up in Costa Mesa, Calif., about 12 miles from Angel Stadium, where he'll start on Wednesday, and says he attended about 10 or more Angels games a year as a youngster.
Felix Hernandez allowed more runs on Sunday than he had in his previous six starts combined, as the Indians mashed the Mariners, 6-0, for their third straight win in a four-game series that wraps up Monday.
While he didn't hit his second home run of the season until the ninth inning of Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Indians, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak has quietly been putting together a strong three-week stretch that has lifted his batting average to .254.
It's been so long since Brendan Ryan was in a groove at the plate that he's not going to overanalyze what's been happening the past week, as he put together a five-game hitting streak.
Danny Farquhar made his Mariners debut on Saturday and it couldn't have gone better, with the right-hander throwing 2 2/3 innings of perfect ball with five strikeouts in Seattle's 5-4 loss to the Indians.
Despite a late rally to make things interesting, the Mariners suffered their second straight walk-off loss to the Indians on Saturday when Mark Reynolds drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded grounder in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 victory.
After starting 15 straight games since returning from his sprained shoulder, Michael Saunders was given the day off Saturday by Mariners manager Eric Wedge.
Franklin Gutierrez was the designated hitter on Friday for the second straight game during his rehab stint at Triple-A Tacoma, but the Mariners want him to see time in right field while he's there, so they have options when he returns from a strained hamstring.
The low point for the Mariners this season was a 10-3 defeat in Houston on April 24 when Seattle lost a series to the last-place Astros and then got an earful from manager Eric Wedge in a fiery postgame speech.
It was a pitch Lucas Luetge wanted back as soon as it left his hand, but Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis wasn't in the mood for second chances Friday as he ripped a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th to beat the Mariners, 6-3.
Outfielder Michael Morse, who has been carrying a hot bat the last week, was scratched from the Mariners lineup about an hour before Friday's series opener with the Indians due to eye irritation.
Needing to bolster a thin bullpen, the Mariners selected right-hander Danny Farquhar from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday and optioned Hector Noesi back to Tacoma.
Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez began a Minor League injury rehab assignment Thursday night as the designated hitter for Triple-A Tacoma, which hosted Memphis to start an eight-game homestand.
Brendan Ryan hasn't hit well for two seasons now. He knows it, you know it, manager Eric Wedge knows it. But the Mariners shortstop has never stopped trying.
Raul Ibanez continued his torrid hitting at Yankee Stadium, and this time his Mariners teammates jumped on board, as Seattle swamped New York, 12-2, on Wednesday.
Veteran right-hander Aaron Harang took it easy on Friday, a day after being scratched from his scheduled start against the Yankees due to lower back stiffness. But the 35-year-old remains hopeful that he'll be fine to pitch in his next scheduled start Tuesday in Anaheim.
Raul Ibanez was a hero for the Yankees in the 2012 postseason, when his two late home runs beat the Orioles in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. So yes, he was cheered when he first came to the plate as a visiting Mariner this week at Yankee Stadium.