"Safeco" Joe Saunders will try to manufacture some of his home-field magic in his old ballpark on Wednesday night when the Mariners take on the Angels at Angel Stadium.
The 32-year old lefty has been dominant in Seattle, going 4-2 with a 2.53 ERA in seven games. On the road, however, Saunders has struggled to a 1-4 record with a 7.58 ERA. To win their second straight game against the Angels, the Mariners (32-40) will need Angel Stadium to give Saunders that same home-field edge.
"I wouldn't say it's home, but it is a very familiar setting," Saunders said. "Home is in Seattle now. I know [Angel Stadium] very well, a lot of the staff and training people and weight room people and clubhouse guys. I'm still friends with all those guys and it's nice to see them, but team-wise, it's just another opponent and I'm going to try to beat their butts."
It won't be Saunders' first time back in Anaheim, having made his original comeback appearance last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In that game, he took a 2-0 loss.
"That was one of those things where everybody was trying to hype it up a lot because it was my former team and I'd spent a lot of time here," Saunders said. "But if you look at it, things have changed a lot. There are not many of the same guys that I played with. I just look at it like another foe."
If Saunders is to have a good game, he'll have to find a way to slow the red-hot Howie Kendrick. Since May 14, Kendrick has hit .410 (48-for-117), far and away the best in the American League. He's also turned himself into a bit of a slugger -- his eight home runs this season already match his 2012 total.
"He's had a streak where he's been locked in, and the one thing exciting about what he's been doing the last month, not only the length that it's gone, but his ability to hit with two strikes, hit with runners in scoring position," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Taking the mound for Los Angeles on Wednesday will be C.J. Wilson, who pitched seven innings with two runs allowed against the Yankees in his last start. Wilson had some early trouble in that game, needing 78 pitches to get through the fourth inning. But the lefty settled down and went three more scoreless innings before calling it a day.
Mariners: Ibanez's home away from home
With Tuesday's homer in the second inning, Seattle outfielder Raul Ibanez extended his hitting streak in Angel Stadium to 13 games, the longest active streak vs. the Angels, and dates back to 2008.
During that time span, he's hitting .408. It's the third hitting streak of at least 12 games at Angel Stadium in Ibanez's career.
• Rookie Nick Franklin has hit safely in seven consecutive games, and he has recorded a hit in 16 of the 19 games in which he's recorded an at-bat since making his Major League debut on May 27.
Angels: Getting edged out
Los Angeles has played in an Major League-leading 25 games decided by one run, with a 10-15 record in those games. The Angels have fallen just short often this season, with 20 of the club's 39 losses being decided by two runs or fewer.
• The Angels have outscored the Mariners 32-7 over their last four home games, and have won 27 of their last 36 home games against Seattle.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.