Joe Saunders calls his struggles on the road 'a fluke'
Saunders is 0-4 with a 12.54 earned-run average on the road, but is 2-0 with a 0.81 ERA at Safeco Field.
Special to The Seattle Times
TORONTO — Joe Saunders' home-and-away splits are more like a chasm this season.
After giving up seven runs in five innings in Sunday's 10-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the left-hander is 0-4 with a 12.54 earned-run average on the road, but is 2-0 with a 0.81 ERA at Safeco Field.
After Sunday's outing at Rogers Centre, Saunders said simply, "It's a fluke."
Manager Eric Wedge was a little more expansive, although he too used the same word to describe Saunders' road struggles.
"He's typically actually pitched better on the road," Wedge said. "I just think it's somewhat of a fluke thing right now. It's gained a little bit of momentum and we've got to stop it. He knows how to pitch but he has to hit his spots, work in and out, up and down, and make the baseball do what he wants to do with it. Obviously last time was a great example of that (against the Orioles)."
It is the first time in his career that Saunders has opened a season at 0-4 on the road. But he has had a longer road losing string, dropping 11 consecutive road decisions between June 20, 2010, and May 24, 2011.
In his career, Saunders is 39-34 with a 4.47 ERA at home and is 41-35 with a 3.94 ERA on the road.
• Jason Bay was 0 for 4 to end a seven-game hitting streak.
• Sunday's game was the first time this season the Mariners have allowed 10 runs, and their three hits was a season low. The loss snapped a season-high three-game winning streak (done twice).
• Third baseman Kyle Seager doubled in the first inning and has hit in 10 of his past 11 games against Toronto dating to last season. During that span he is batting .462 with seven extra-base hits. He is 7 for 14 with three doubles and a home run in his career against Brandon Morrow.
• The Mariners have Monday off, then play two games at Pittsburgh.