Joe Saunders’ home ERA: 0.94. Road ERA: 12.54. He can’t explain it.
“As much as it’s killing everybody in here, it’s killing me the most,” Saunders said. “I don’t like to go out and do that on the road. I consider myself a pretty good road pitcher and it just hasn’t happened yet. As much as it’s probably eating Carl (Willis) and (Eric Wedge), it’s eating me more. Just going to have to deal with it and go get them.”
Saunders threw 6 1/3 in Sunday’s 6-1 win. Several balls were hit hard, but he was able to navigate around most of the would-be damage. He’s 9-0 career at Safeco.
Kendrys Morales hit a three-run homer in the first. Michael Morse had two hits, though one was a botched charge on an infield grounder by the A’s. The middle of the order — Seager, Morales and Morse — was 3-for-9 with four RBIs. In an earlier post, we went over the lineup changes and Wedge’s take on why.
> Both Morales and Morse said afterward they don’t care where they hit in the lineup.
> Wedge said he doesn’t think Saunders’ road problems will persist. He rightly pointed out that Saunders has been good on the road during his career. Prior to Sunday, he had a 3.94 ERA in 94 road starts and a 4.47 ERA in 102 home starts since his Major League debut in 2005.
> Michael Saunders had a line-drive the other way for a hit and a popped-up bunt attempt that turned into a hit. He said if teams are going to play him deep on the pull side, he’s going to bunt on occasion to “keep them honest.” The Mariners are 12-8 when Saunders plays. They are 6-12 without him. Saunders is hitting .333 versus left-handers this year.
> Oliver Perez pitched the ninth and struck out the side. Quietly, his ERA is down to 1.26 and he has 18 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. His work allowed the Mariners to stay away from closer Tom Wilhelmsen, who pitched Friday and warmed up Saturday.
> Reminder: It’s Felix Hernandez vs. CC Sabathia on Tuesday in the Bronx.