The choice between right-hander Christian Bergman or lefty Dillon Overton to replace injured James Paxton as the starter for Sunday’s game against the Rangers could hinge on whether the Mariners use Overton earlier in the series.
"If we have a chance to win the game, and he’s our guy," manager Scott Servais said, "we’re going to use him."
General manager Jerry Dipoto said Bergman, 29, will be recalled this weekend from Triple-A Tacoma either to start Sunday or replace Overton, 25, as the club’s long reliever.
Overton is a starting pitcher currently serving in the bullpen, where he has allowed six runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings over four appearances. He also pitched twice at Triple-A Tacoma, allowing five runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Bergman served as a swingman over parts of the last three seasons at Colorado, going 5-9 with a 5.79 ERA, before signing a minor-league deal with the Mariners as a free agent on Dec. 1.
After showing little in spring training, Bergman has been a sensation at Tacoma: 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in five starts.
"He’s dealing," Dipoto said. "Christian Bergman, the reason why we picked him up is his command. His strike-throwing. In spring training, the stuff was blah, and the command was not great.
"He was just middle-of-the-plate, and he was behind 2-0, 2-1. And now you’re throwing below-average stuff in the middle of the plate. That’s not great. What he’s doing now is, instead of hitting the middle of the plate, he’s carving."
Three things to note heading into Saturday’s pitching matchup between right-hander Chase De Jong and Texas lefty Martin Perez:
***De Jong has never faced the Rangers. Perez is 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 13 career games, including 11 starts, against the Mariners. He is 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA in seven career games at Safeco Field.
***No current Rangers have ever faced De Jong in the big leagues.
***Kyle Seager is 14-for-32 (.438) with four homers in his career against Perez. Nelson Cruz is 6-for-12 (.500) with three homers. Danny Valencia is 6-for-16 (.375), but Robinson Cano is just 4-for-20 (.200).
It was 27 years ago Saturday — May 6, 1990 — that third baseman Edgar Martinez set a franchise record by committing four errors in a 5-4 victory over Baltimore at the Kingdome.
The Mariners and Rangers continue their three-game series at 6:10 p.m. Saturday at Safeco Field when rookie right-hander Chase De Jong (0-2 with an 11.05 ERA) opposes Texas left-hander Martin Perez (1-4, 4.26).
The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN and the Mariners Radio Network, including mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv).
The series and the six-game homestand concludes at 1:10 p.m. Sunday. The Mariners then have an open date Monday before starting a six-game trip to Philadelphia and Toronto.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners