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American League Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, July 27th (All times Eastern)

Kansas City Royals (41-57) at Seattle Mariners (44-57), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (0-1, 9.00) Seattle - Blake Beavan (5-6, 5.54)

(Sports Network) - Blake Beavan eyes his third straight win when the Seattle Mariners continue a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals Friday at Safeco Field.

After surrendering five or more runs in four straight starts, Beavan was terrific on Sunday against Tampa Bay, allowing just a run and four hits in eight innings. He also struck out five without walking a batter to run his record to 5-6 while lowering his ERA to 5.54.

"I think that was definitely the best one of the year," Beavan said. "Something good to build off from when I was up here and struggling. My last two starts I was up here, then I go down to Tacoma and figure some things out. Just (getting) some confidence back, really.

Beavan beat the Royals two starts ago and is 2-0 lifetime against them despite a 5.84 ERA.

Seattle jumped out in front of this series on Thursday, as Jason Vargas pitched eight strong innings of one-hit, one-run ball to lead the Mariners to a 4-1 win.

Vargas (11-7) struck out five and walked three, with the only blemish coming on a two-out double from Billy Butler. Vargas, who has been at the center of trade rumors with the deadline approaching, has now won his last four starts and hasn't taken a loss since June 20 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Jason Vargas has been as consistent as anybody this year," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. "(He) did a great job. He has a great heartbeat out there and all that plays into his success."

Tom Wilhelmsen fired a scoreless ninth to nail down his 12th save of the season, while Mike Carp registered three hits and plated a pair of runs for the Mariners, who have won four of their last six contests.

Kansas City starter Luis Mendoza (4-7) suffered the loss after giving up all four runs on nine hits and three walks over five-plus innings of work.

Butler finished with a pair of doubles to account for the only two Royals hits as they lost for the fourth time in their last five games.

"We just couldn't get anything going, we couldn't do anything off him," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Vargas. "He pitched a great game."

It may not get any better for Kansas City tonight as Yost hands the ball to recently acquired Jeremy Guthrie, who will be making his second start with the Royals since being traded from Colorado. Guthrie was banged around to the tune of five runs in five innings Sunday against Minnesota his last time out.

Guthrie had been a huge disappointment in Colorado, posting a 3-9 mark to go along with a 6.35 ERA before being traded to Kansas City for the equally ineffective Jonathan Sanchez.

He is winless since May 31 - a stretch of eight starts and four relief appearances - and has a 6.29 ERA in his last five starts.

Guthrie lost to the Mariners earlier in the year and is a miserable 2-6 with a 4.22 ERA in 10 starts against them. Of his four career complete games, two have come at Safeco, however

"It's a great ballpark to pitch in," Guthrie said. "It's a pretty ballpark, a nice pitcher's ballpark, usually has good crowds here. It's a good baseball venue."

Seattle took three of four from the Royals in Kansas City last week.

07/27 10:55:34 ET