Monday, June 20, 2016

Karns seeks continued success against Pelfrey, Tigers

Mariners right-hander Nathan Karns will square off against Tigers righty Mike Pelfrey in the opener a four-game series on Monday at Comerica Park.
Pelfrey is 1-7 with a 4.79 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP in 13 starts in his first year with the Tigers, and the 6-foot-7, 240-pounder has 35 strikeouts and 30 walks in 71 1/3 innings.
Karns is 5-2 with a 4.06 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, with 75 strikeouts and 33 walks over 71 innings, and has pitched well for the most part since claiming the Mariners' fifth starter spot in the spring. The 28-year-old is 4-1 with a 3.72 ERA over his last nine outings.
The Tigers are opening a nine-game homestand, while Seattle is wrapping up a 10-game road trip. But the Mariners have been strong away from Safeco Field this season with an American League-best 21-14 road record heading into Sunday's series finale at Fenway Park.
The Mariners have played well at Comerica Park in recent years, going 13-8 since 2011.
Things to know about this game
• Pelfrey pitched the past three seasons in Minnesota after seven seasons with the Mets, but he has faced the Mariners just twice in his 11-year career (0-1, 2.03 ERA in 13 1/3 innings). The 32-year-old had one of his best starts last year against Seattle in a no-decision when he threw eight shutout innings with just four hits at Target Field in the Mariners' 4-1 win in 11 innings.
• Karns also has limited experience against the Tigers (1-0, 2.00 ERA in two games, including one start). The lone start came last year with the Rays when he allowed one run and three hits over six innings in a 5-2 win.
• Pelfrey has fared well against Mariners slugger Robinson Cano in the past, holding him to a .176 average in 18 plate appearances. But the only two Mariners with more experience against him (both with 21 plate appearances) have hit him well -- catcher Chris Iannetta is .467 with two home runs and right fielder Seth Smith is at .412 with two doubles, a triple and a homer.

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