Washburn Needs Help

In his return to Seattle, Ken Griffey Jr. had little to do with the Cincinnati Reds' biggest offensive outburst of the season.

Griffey tries to bounce back from a rough game and lead the Reds to consecutive wins when they continue their three-game set against the Mariners on Saturday night.

Oddsmakers have made Seattle -170 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Seattle -170 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Playing his first game in Seattle since being traded after the 1999 season, Griffey - the one-time face of the Mariners organization - was received with a lengthy, appreciative ovation during a pregame ceremony, and again in his first at-bat.

"It was more than I expected. A lot more than I expected,'' Griffey said. "Awesome. If you had to put it in one word. It was something. To have that many people for that long cheering was pretty unbelievable."

The Reds (29-45) ripped Seattle 16-1 in Griffey's homecoming for their third win in nine games, but the 12-time All-Star went just 1-for-5 and struck out three times.

David Ross and Brandon Phillips each homered twice on Friday, while Josh Hamilton homered in his second straight game.

Griffey is only 1-for-9 in his last two games, after batting .341 (15-for-44) with seven homers in his previous 12. With 582 homers, he remains one shy of tying Mark McGwire for seventh place on the all-time list.

The slugger is 2-for-5 with a home run in his career against Saturday's starter Jarrod Washburn (5-6, 4.38 ERA), but hasn't faced him since July 5, 1999, while still with the Mariners with Washburn pitching for the Anaheim Angels.

Washburn went 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA in six May starts, but is just 0-2 with an 8.83 ERA in four starts this month.

The left-hander was tagged for a season-high seven runs, six hits and three walks in a season-low three innings of a 10-3 loss to Houston on Sunday.

"It's just a struggle so far for me," Washburn said. "The last month I threw the ball well, right now my command just isn't there. It's what's leading to all the problems."

Pitching in front of the home crowd has also presented a problem, as Washburn is 0-2 with a 9.42 ERA in his last three starts at Safeco Field.

Washburn, who has pitched in the AL his entire 10-year career, has never faced the Reds.

The Mariners (37-33) have lost seven of their last nine games following a season-high five-game winning streak.

Seattle managed just three hits on Friday, but Ichiro Suzuki had one of them to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He's batting .452 (33-for-73) during his run, but is just 6-for-28 (.214) with a double, a triple and five strikeouts in his career against Saturday's starter Kyle Lohse (3-9, 4.56).

Lohse yielded six runs, eight hits and a season-high four walks in a 6-1 loss to Oakland on Monday to drop his second straight start. The right-hander, who lost six straight starts from April 26-May 23, has allowed six or more runs in four of his last eight games.

He has not faced the Mariners since 2005 when he was pitching for Minnesota, and is 2-4 with a 3.68 ERA in nine career games against them.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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