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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, July 1st (All times Eastern)

Boston Red Sox (41-37) at Seattle Mariners (34-46), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Felix Doubront (9-4, 2.36) Seattle - Jason Vargas (0-0, 1.80)

(Sports Network) - The Seattle Mariners will try to pick up a series win today as they host the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field for the final stage of their four-game set.

After the clubs split the first two games of the series, Chone Figgins gave Seattle the upperhand with a game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning for a 3-2 victory. John Jaso drove in the other two runs for Seattle while a platoon of seven different pitchers held Boston's offense in check.

Ichiro Suzuki, Dustin Ackley and Miguel Olivo all had multi-hit games for the Mariners, who are rated 27th in the major leagues with a team batting average of .234.

Despite winning two of the first three games in the series, Seattle has produced only four runs total so far. First baseman Justin Smoak is leading the team with 11 home runs, but he is just 1-for-27 with four walks in his last eight games.

The Mariners held a team meeting to discuss the club's offensive woes before Saturday's practice.

"We'll see," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said when asked if he thought the meeting worked. "The response is out there. We'll find out. Ask [the players]. There's just a certain way we're going to go about things here. I didn't bring my butt all the way out here to do it any other way."

Left-hander Jason Vargas will take the hill for Seattle today. The southpaw lost three games in a row before allowing two runs on three hits and striking out 10 Oakland batters in Tuesday's 3-2 win. The solid outing lowered Vargas' ERA to 4.54, but he ended with a no-decision, which left his record at 7-7.

Vargas gave up five runs over six innings in a 6-1 loss to the Red Sox on May 14 at Fenway Park in his first start versus Boston of 2012.

The Red Sox will counter with their own lefty, Felix Doubront. The Boston starter went 3-2 with a 5.83 ERA in June. Doubront, who has never faced Seattle as a starter, has allowed 11 runs (nine earned) on 20 hits in his last two starts. The young pitcher has a 4.54 ERA in his first year as a regular starter. His 8-4 record has been helped by a major league-best average of 8.44 runs in support.

Boston is 17-9 against left-handed starters this season.

David Ortiz has gone 3-for-13 at the plate without going yard so far in the series. His next home run will be the 400th of his career.

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez managed three hits in five at-bats in Saturday's loss. Gonzalez has hit safely in 11 straight games and has a .370 batting average during that span. Dustin Pedroia is 1-for-12 in the series so far and is 1-for-8 lifetime versus Vargas.

Heading into Sunday, Boston is tied with Tampa Bay for third place in the AL East standings. The Red Sox are trailing the first place Yankees by 6 1/2 games.

Seattle is 15-22 at home this season.

07/01 11:08:45 ET