After spending most of his career with the San Diego Padres, Chris Young is likely relishing the chance to face his former club for the first time given their offensive ineptitude.
He'll look to shake off a rough recent stretch Monday night as the Seattle Mariners open their interleague series with the Padres at Safeco Field.Young (5-4, 3.68 ERA) was 33-25 with a 3.60 ERA in 97 starts for San Diego from 2006-2010, earning his lone All-Star nod in 2007. The Padres are the only team he's yet to face in his 10-year career, missing the 2013 season due to thoracic outlet syndrome.The right-hander has dropped four of his last six starts while posting a 4.79 ERA. He's also thrown just five innings in back-to-back outings after completing at least six innings in eight of his first 10 games.Young was charged with four runs and seven hits in Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Yankees."He wasn't very sharp tonight, but listen, this guy is a competitor," manager Lloyd McClendon told the team's official website. "He hung in there and did as good as he could tonight. It's not his best stuff, but that happens, that happens to all of us. He'll bounce back."He's also struggled in his last five interleague starts with a 7.04 ERA. He gave up four runs in only three innings in Seattle's 8-4 loss at Miami on April 18, his only outing against an NL club this year.The Padres (29-40) are averaging 1.9 runs during a 3-10 stretch. Everth Cabrera, who hit .283 last season, is batting .102 in that span with 19 strikeouts. Seth Smith leads the club with a .287 average but is hitting .194 in that 13-game span.San Diego managed just four hits in Sunday's 3-1 road loss to the Mets, which marked the club's major league-worst 21st game with one run or fewer.Seattle (35-34) ended a five-game skid with Sunday's 5-1 win over Texas as Kyle Seager recorded his fifth career four-hit game and drove in three runs.The Mariners had won eight of nine before dropping five in a row."It's been a little bit of a grind as of late, but before that we were playing really good baseball," Seager said. "That's just kind of the way baseball goes."They'll face Tyson Ross (6-5, 2.97), who comes off one of his sharpest outings of the season. He allowed four hits over seven innings Wednesday at Philadelphia. However, he didn't receive a decision in the 3-0 loss as San Diego's bullpen surrendered a walkoff homer.Ross is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA in his last four road starts."We're seeing Tyson grow as a major league pitcher," manager Bud Black said. "He had really good stuff. I think he has one of the best sliders in the game."The right-hander lost his lone start versus Seattle, yielding three runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 4-0 defeat with Oakland on April 22, 2011. He's 2-2 with a 1.78 ERA in four interleague outings this season.San Diego has won seven of 10 in Seattle, while the Mariners have dropped 13 of their last 18 interleague home games.
Sixty percent of Chris Young's pitches this season have been in the upper half of the strike zone or higher, the highest percentage among qualified starters. Seth Smith ranks fifth in baseball with a 1.167 OPS this season in plate appearances ending with a pitch in the upper half of the zone or higher.