(SportsNetwork.com) - Maybe the Seattle Mariners are finally starting to turn things around.
The Mariners go after a fourth straight win on Tuesday when they kick off a brief two-game series with the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field.
Picked by many to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2001, Seattle has stumbled out of the gates, going a mere 14-17. Still, they are only 5 1/2 games back of the upstart Houston Astros.
The Mariners helped themselves this weekend by taking all three games from the Oakland Athletics, including a 4-3 win on Sunday.
Felix Hernandez (6-0) became the fourth youngest player in MLB history to reach 2,000 strikeouts at 29 years and 32 days. He gave up two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings to stay undefeated over seven starts this season.
"The accolades just keep coming and coming with this guy," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said
Dustin Ackley drove in two while Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano finished with an RBI each for the Mariners, who have won four of their last six.
The sweep over the A's was the Mariners second of the season. But, they followed their first one up with a four-game losing streak and losses in six of their next seven games.
Hoping to avoid that on Tuesday will be lefty James Paxton, who is still searching for his first win of the season. Paxton, though, has pitched well his last three times out, including last Tuesday in Anaheim when he surrendered two runs and four hits over seven innings of his team's 5-4 loss.
Paxton is 0-2 with a 5.08 ERA, but has given up two earned runs or less in four of his six starts this season.
Countering for San Diego will be righty Ian Kennedy, who has won his last two starts. Kennedy beat San Francisco on Thursday, limiting them to a run and six hits in seven innings to improve to 2-1 to go along with a 5.03 ERA.
San Diego enters this series on the heels of splitting four-games with the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, the Padres failed to secure a series win on Sunday with a 2-1 loss at Chase Field.
Andrew Cashner (1-6) was given the loss in his seven-inning performance. Cashner allowed two solo homers and struck out six.
Jedd Gyorko had San Diego's lone RBI.
San Diego split a four-game set with the Mariners last season, but lost both games in Seattle.