Sunday's game will finish off the first-ever visit by the Mariners to Great American Ball Park for an Interleague meeting with the Reds, but both starters in the finale actually have some history against their opponents.
Dating back to his days with the Red Sox, Bronson Arroyo is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four career games against the Mariners, including one in which he pitched three innings for his only career save. Seattle veteran lefty Joe Saunders, meanwhile, is 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA in four starts against the Reds.
But that history really is just that, as the two teams vie in the rubber match of the Interleague affair in Cincinnati, this game sending both teams into the final week of the first half of the season.
Of more recent import, Arroyo is coming off an impressive outing against the Giants in a rain-shortened game Monday, allowing one run on two hits in the six innings that were played. That proved to be a nice rebound from his previous start against the A's, when he allowed seven earned runs. It also went down as his first complete game of the season.
"Might be the only one I get all year," Arroyo said, jokingly. "But, hey, back of the baseball card 20 years from now, they have no idea."
Saunders, meanwhile, had an interesting outing his last time on the mound, allowing just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings by way of 10 hits, a walk and a hit batter for the win at Texas. He's allowed one earned run in five of his last seven starts to turn his season around, and he claimed his first victory in eight starts at Rangers Ballpark.
The Mariners gave him a ton of offensive support in a 9-2 victory in that one, and that never hurts.
"I threw strikes and our defense made some pretty big double plays behind me. So hats off to them. Hats off to the offense. It was a good win," Saunders said.
Mariners: Franklin takes a day
A day after he played through some pain after bunting the ball off his right knee, second baseman Nick Franklin had a day out of the starting lineup, but he did serve as a pinch-hitter, striking out in the sixth inning.
Brad Miller, who drew three walks in a leadoff role, took over at second base with Brendan Ryan starting at short and contributing an RBI double.
After making his Major League debut May 27, Franklin is batting .288 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 35 games.
Franklin hobbled into the clubhouse before Saturday's game, experiencing swelling above his kneecap.
"It's stiff," Franklin said. "It's pretty hard to bend, but I think if it bothered me just a little bit, I'd be out there playing."
Reds: Paul banged up
Xavier Paul crashed into the wall down the left-field line trying to catch a foul ball in the ninth inning of Friday's game, and he was receiving treatment for his shoulder prior to Saturday's game. Derrick Robinson started against right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, going 1-for-5, while Paul did not play.
Whether Paul will be ready to play Sunday against the left-handed Saunders likely will be a gameday decision.
• The Reds went 8-for-17 with runners in scoring position Saturday, snapping out of a funk in that department. Prior to Saturday, they were 6-for-34 (.176) with RISP in first four games of homestand and 18-for-146 (.123) over the previous 18 games.
• With their 30th home victory Saturday, the Reds have the most home wins in the National League, one more than the Braves and Pirates. Only the Red Sox have more in the Majors with 31.
• The Mariners maintain a 9-2 all-time edge over the Reds in their Interleague meetings.
• Following Sunday's finale of the Interleague series, the Mariners will return home to Seattle for a four-game series against the Red Sox.
• Cincinnati will head on the road for the remainder of the first half of the season, visiting Milwaukee for three games starting Monday and then Atlanta for four leading into the All-Star break.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.