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M's begin set with Tigers as McClendon, Jackson return to Detroit

(SportsNetwork.com) - Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon and outfielder Austin Jackson make their return to Comerica Park on Friday night when the M's begin a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers.

McClendon was on Detroit's coaching staff under former manager Jim Leyland from 2006-13, helping guide the team to a pair of World Series appearances. Jackson began his big league career with the Tigers in 2010 and was an outfield fixture there until landing in Seattle on July 31 as part of the David Price trade.

"I'll be glad when it's over, just like when they were here," McClendon said. "A lot of ways it's good, and other ways it's a pain in the butt. I'm going to be happy to see a lot of people, but I'll be glad to be leaving town."

Jackson was a little more forthcoming about his first time back in the Motor City.

"Obviously, you want to play well against every team, especially with the team you were once with," Jackson said. "It's just competitive nature."

Seattle (65-55) has won four straight and eight of its last nine games overall. The M's completed a three-game sweep over Toronto with a 2-0 victory on Wednesday. Kendrys Morales was the difference in that one with a two-run homer in the first inning, while starter Hisashi Iwakuma pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings to earn his 11th win.

Detroit (65-54) has fallen a half-game back of the surging Kansas City Royals in the AL Central, although the Tigers currently hold a half-game lead over Seattle for the league's second wild card spot.

The Tigers notched their fifth straight home win on Thursday with a 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh. Max Scherzer earned his 14th win of the season by striking out a season-high 14 batters.

Rick Porcello gets the nod for Detroit in Friday's opener. The right-hander has gone six straight appearances without yielding more than three runs. That includes a two-inning relief stint against Toronto during Sunday's 19-inning loss, which bumped back his Tuesday scheduled start.

For Seattle, rookie left-hander James Paxton makes his fifth start of the season and looks to remain unbeaten. In fact, he is 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA over eight career big league starts.

Paxton spent four months on the shelf with a left lat strain and left shoulder inflammation, but in his second start since returning from the disabled list, he held the White Sox to one run over 6 1/3 innings on Saturday.

These teams met in Seattle from May 30-June 1, where Seattle took two of three from the Tigers.