Royals-Mariners Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 25, 2012
The Seattle Mariners are about to begin the first series at Safeco Field without Ichiro Suzuki on either team's roster since 2000. Jason Vargas may soon follow him out of town. The left-hander has probably boosted his trade value with an impressive stretch of pitching, which means Thursday night's start against the Kansas City Royals could be his last in a Mariners uniform. Seattle (43-57) seems unlikely to make another deal as significant as Monday's trade, which sent Suzuki to the New York Yankees. The Japanese star walked across to the visitors' clubhouse and helped the Yankees take two of three at Safeco this week. With the Mariners a distant last in the AL West, they could opt to move some other pieces before Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline. Contenders may be interested in Vargas, who has won three straight starts and posted a 1.77 ERA while going unbeaten in his last five. Vargas (10-7, 3.91 ERA) matched his career high in wins by beating Tampa Bay on Saturday, allowing only an unearned run in six innings of a 2-1 victory. It has certainly helped that he's gone at least six innings in 18 of his 21 starts. "I'm excited and I want to win more," Vargas told the Mariners' official website. Vargas has served up more homers (25) than any other pitcher in the majors, but he ended a streak of 12 straight starts giving up at least one Saturday. He won his third consecutive start against Kansas City with a 9-4 victory July 16 even though Billy Butler and Salvador Perez took him deep. Butler hit his 20th homer Wednesday - he'll match his career-high total from 2009 with his next one - but the Royals (41-56) lost 11-6 to the Los Angeles Angels. It was their 10th defeat in 13 road games, and they're an AL-worst 6-15 overall in July. Kansas City can't blame Luis Mendoza for its recent woes. The right-hander has posted four straight quality starts and six in seven outings since re-entering the rotation last month. Mendoza (4-6, 4.31) pitched into the seventh inning of a 7-3 win over Minnesota on Saturday. "I started up in the zone a little bit," he said. "I just tried to get some groundballs, get below. My job is to get groundballs. I just want to pitch my game, stay aggressive and try to win games." Mendoza's groundball rate is at a career-best 69.1 percent, which would rank among the major league leaders if he had enough innings to qualify. He should be eager to face a Seattle offense that has scored two runs or fewer in more than half of its home games (24 of 47). The Mariners are batting .193 at home after totaling three hits - all singles - in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Yankees. "We hit the ball hard a few times, just right at the wrong guys," said first baseman Mike Carp, who is 0 for 6 since returning from the disabled list and 4 for 38 (.105) in Seattle this year. "Sometimes you do the right things and don't get rewarded." Seattle totaled 31 runs in taking three of four at Kansas City last week. Jesus Montero was 10 for 17 with eight RBIs in that series.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Nigel Hayes slams New York ahead of Sweet 16 game at MSG

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Report: Josh Gordon expected to get reinstatement update in May

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker