The Seattle Mariners go for the series sweep on Wednesday when they wrap up a 10-game homestand against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field.
After claiming a 3-2 victory in Monday's series opener, Seattle notched a 4-0 win on Tuesday behind a gem from Aaron Harang. The veteran right-hander tossed his second shutout in four starts, as he allowed only two hits and struck out 10 while walking nobody.
"Some days you go out there and feel great and can throw any pitch whenever you want in a count, and other days, you just pray you can throw one pitch for a strike," Harang said. "When you can throw any pitch for strikes and get ahead early, it makes all the difference in the world."
Raul Ibanez supplied all the offense the M's would need with his team-high 13th home run and second in as many nights.
The Astros have been outscored, 23-7, during their current six-game losing streak. It marks the fourth time this season they have lost six in a row.
"We've gone through a slump before, but this one's really kind of getting to us," Bud Norris said after taking Tuesday's loss. "The guys are going out and playing hard, and that's not the problem, but they're not going to lay over for us either. We need to keep picking up both sides of the ball and playing as a unit."
Jordan Lyles will try to keep the Astros from losing a season-worst seventh straight game. Over his last five starts, Lyles is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA. Against Kansas City on Friday, Lyles allowed two runs over seven innings for a no-decision.
Seattle will turn to Jeremy Bonderman, who is coming off his first win in three seasons against the Yankees on Friday. The right-hander, who had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2012, allowed just one run on three hits over six innings. It was a stark contrast from his previous outing in Minnesota, where he was chased after giving up seven runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
"I'm definitely very happy with getting the win, and being back on a big league field is something you don't take for granted," Bonderman said after Friday's start. "It's just fun to have the opportunity to go out and play."
Houston and Seattle have split eight meetings this season.