(1090 The Fan) — Should the Mariners lose Friday, they’ll have secured their fourth straight losing season — the fifth in the past six years. Thus, in order to keep the improbable fantasy of ending .500 or better alive, the Mariners’ inept offense will have to do some damage against one of the National League’s best arms: Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright, the St. Louis Cardinals ace, attempts his 17th victory of the season Friday as he and his club hosts Seattle for a weekend series.

Everything has been going wrong for the Mariners as of late — and being swept at home by the Astros, one of the worst teams in baseball, likely brought the team’s confidence to an all-time low. The lack of consistent offense is one issue, but the instability of the pitching staff has been so toxic to the team’s success, it’s impressive Seattle has managed to pull out three wins so far in September. Seattle has given up 55 runs in eleven games this month. During the Mariners’ current four-game skid, they’ve allowed an average of 6.75 runs per game.

As grim as that last tidbit was, Seattle is sending its second-best pitching weapon to the mound in Hisashi Iwakuma, who faces the Cardinals for the first time in his career. Iwakuma has a 12-6 record and 2.97 ERA over 30 starts this year.

Iwakuma has a 2.76 ERA over his last five outings, winning the first two before a stretch of three straight no-decisions. The 32-year-old gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks over 5 2/3 frames versus the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

The Cardinals are 6-3 all-time versus the Mariners, winning five of six in St. Louis.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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