Seattle Mariners starter Joe Saunders is still looking for his first victory over his first major-league club, although that's not entirely his fault.
He's enjoyed success against several of the Los Angeles Angels' stars, and has shut down Josh Hamilton this season after previously struggling in those matchups.Hamilton, however, is heating up with four homers and 10 RBIs over his last six games for the visiting Angels heading into Friday night's opener against Saunders and the Mariners.Saunders (7-8, 4.51 ERA), who pitched for the Angels from 2005-10, is 0-2 in two starts against them despite a 1.93 ERA."I've pitched well against them, just came up on the short end a couple times," Saunders told the Mariners' official website. "It was a couple 'hang-with-'em' starts. But that's OK. As long as I keep the team in the game, I'm doing my job."Both previous outings were in Anaheim. He's 10-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 17 career starts at Safeco Field, although he is 1/3 with a 7.45 ERA in his last four there.Saunders has yielded two earned runs over 13 2/3 innings in winning his first two July outings -- both on the road.The left-hander has held Albert Pujols hitless in eight at-bats and limited Mike Trout to a double in seven, while Hamilton is 4 for 13 with a homer against him.Hamilton, however, is 0 for 3 against Saunders this year while hitting an AL-low .151 against lefties. The left fielder has put together a solid six-game stretch capped by his first multihomer effort with the Angels (44-46) in Wednesday's 13-2 win over the Chicago Cubs."I'm sort of just getting back to doing what you do and quit worrying about listening to everybody," said Hamilton, who drove in a season-high five runs. "Listen to the guys here I really care about, the coaches and the players, and go from there."Pujols and Hamilton hit back-to-back homers for the first time as the Angels won their 11th in 14 games."Those are two guys who are critical to where we want to be," manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels' official website. "And to see those guys have such good nights in the same game -- I hope we see more of it."Trout is 11 for 25 during a seven-game hitting streak, and he's 17 for 37 with seven RBIs and seven runs scored against Seattle (40-52) this year, helping Los Angeles win six of 10.Pujols has a team-high nine RBIs versus the Mariners. Alberto Callaspo is 11 for 22 in the season series and 4 for 12 off Saunders.The Mariners dropped the final three games of a four-game home set with Boston after falling 8-7 in 10 innings Thursday.Second baseman Nick Franklin missed the game with a sore right knee, but could return Friday.Endy Chavez, 11 for 33 against the Angels, left in the bottom of the fourth inning with tightness in the right side of his groin.Kyle Seager is 19 for 43 during an 11-game hitting streak, and 13 for 38 against the Angels in 2013.Seattle has matched a franchise record by homering in 19 straight games, also doing so from Sept. 7-27, 1999.The Angels will start Jerome Williams (5-4, 4.16), who is 0-2 with an 8.47 ERA over his last four outings and has failed to last past the fourth inning in the last two.The right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five career starts against the Mariners, pitching eight innings to earn a 12-0 victory May 21.