SHANNON DRAYER

Notebook: Scott Servais believes Mariners are about to make a run

Jun 12, 2016, 1:05 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm
James Paxton delivered his second straight stellar start Saturday, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings...
James Paxton delivered his second straight stellar start Saturday, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings. (AP)
(AP)

As the Mariners wrap up the last of 10 straight games against first-place clubs, manager Scott Servais believes his club ready to do some special things on the upcoming road trip.

“I think we are on the brink of putting together a good streak here,” Servais said in his office prior to the Mariners’ series finale against the Rangers. “Streaks are driven by starting pitching. You talk about winning eight out of 10, nine of 11, I really feel we are about to go off on one of those runs. We got our full squad back position-player-wise, but our starting pitching is about to get on track and that excites me as much as anything.”

With Leonys Martin now back in center field and an offense that has the ability to string hits together, an uptick with the starting pitching could make things very tough for the opposition. What specifically has the skipper is seeing that leads him to believe his team is about to go on a run?

“James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, really start to get it going again,” he answered. “I think Paxton has been outstanding, really pumped some life into our starting pitching.”

The different-look Paxton has been well chronicled. New arm angle, more velocity and a better second-pitch option.

“The big pitch for him is the slider,” Servais said. “His ability to throw it deep in counts, it just puts something else in the hitter’s head versus the curveball; they could recognize that a little bit easier.”

Servais is sold on the changes he has with Paxton and encouraged by what he has seen from the last turn of the entire rotation. Eight out of 10 or nine out of 11 no doubt would be a very nice push for this team.

Notes

• Nori Aoki had a big ice bag on his knee before the game after getting hit by a fastball in last night’s loss. He is not in the lineup but most likely will be available to pinch hit if necessary, according to Servais.

• Felix Hernandez will not travel with the club on its next road trip and according to Servais, there is still no timetable for a return. Felix tells ESPN’s Marley Rivera that the team doctor has told him to rest the calf for 4-6 weeks.

• Probables for the series with the Rays: Taijuan Walker vs. Jake Odorizzi on Tuesday; Nathan Karns vs. Drew Smyly on Wednesday; James Paxton vs. TBA on Thursday.

No starting pitcher.

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