Seth Smith (left), enters play Monday with a .292 lifetime batting average against Seattle, his third highest batting average against any opponent with at least 100 ABs in his career. Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Back in the Pacific Time Zone for the first time seven days, the San Diego Padres open up a four game home and home series with the Seattle Mariners tonight at Safeco Field at 7:10.
Both teams enter the series banged up in the loss column with five game losing streaks not far off in the rear view. The Mariners 5-1 win Sunday over Texas broke up their five game skid, while the Padres have lost six of their last seven, including five in a row before a Saturday win in New York.
Ross is making his 15th start of the season Monday for the Friars. He has won four of his last six decisions spanning his last nine starts. In his last 14 starts Ross pitched at least six innings, while over his last eight appearances he has pitched through seven innings five times. After allowing six runs to the Nationals on June 6, Ross bounced back well in his last start, holding Philadelphia scoreless on four hits over seven innings with a walk and seven strike outs. Ross did not factor in the decision in an eventual 3-0 Padres loss. San Diego is 7-7 in games started by Ross this season.
Young, who won 33 games and posted a 3.60 era in 97 games with the Padres from 2006 to 2010, will face his old club for the first time tonight. Young, who missed all of 2013, has struggled over his last two outings after starting the season 5-2 with a 3.27 ERA over his first 11 games. This will be start number 12 for Young who has allowed seven runs over his last ten innings. His last two starts both were five inning performances where he allowed seven hits and earned the loss.
This is the first match-up between the Padres and Mariners this season, renewing what has become their yearly forced inter league rivalry. All time the Mariners lead the series 47-43, but the Padres have won seven of the last 10 meetings stretching back to 2012.
Hearts of the Padres and their fans will of course be heavy tonight when the team takes the field in the wake of the passing of Tony Gwynn, the undisputed all time greatest player in the history of the franchise. Gwynn, who’s career ended in 2001, played four years with the inter league model that first brought the Mariners and Padres together each year. While the M’s held Mr. Padre to his lowest batting average against any team in his career(.261), Gwynn posted a .314 average across 40 inter league games, picking up 49 of his 3141 career hits against the American League.
The Padres will feature an afternoon rematch at Safeco Field on Tuesday at 12:40. Then it is back home for two more with the Mariners the three with the Dodgers. Wednesday’s first pitch is set for 7:10 against Seattle while Thursday will be an afternoon tilt at 3:40.