The Seattle Mariners couldn't make it three straight solid starts from their pitchers in last night's loss to the Minnesota Twins, but they have a chance for a series win today at Target Field.
Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma got the job done in the first two portions of this four-game series, then Jason Vargas was hammered in a 10-0 loss on Wednesday. Vargas gave up six runs -- five earned -- and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
"You know, sometimes you run into a team that will swing the bats really well and that's what happened tonight," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "We just couldn't get anything going on the mound or at the plate."
Trayvon Robinson and Kyle Seager recorded the two hits for the Mariners, who have lost four of six games on their seven-game road trip.
The Mariners have their sights set on returning home for a nine-game residency versus the Angels, Red Sox and Athletics, and hope Blake Beavan can pitch the club to a series victory this afternoon. Beavan had won four straight starts from July 17-Aug. 1, but is 1-2 in his last four appearances. He allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings of a 5-4 loss at the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, falling to 8-8 in 20 starts with a 5.10 earned run average.
Beavan defeated the Twins on Aug. 19 with 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 win, and is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two career starts against them.
Minnesota entered last night's game having lost 16 of its last 19 games, but finally put together a strong performance.
Trevor Plouffe homered and drove in four runs, while Joe Mauer went deep and added three hits and two RBI for the Twins.
"It was huge having a night like this," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I'm glad we were able to get the bats swinging tonight and now we can build on this and get some things going."
Samuel Deduno struck out nine over seven shutout innings for the win and both Tyler Robertson and Anthony Swarzak both hurled a scoreless inning of relief.
The Twins, who will open a six-game road trip against the Royals and White Sox on Friday, are scheduled to send Brian Duensing to the mound this afternoon. Duensing has lost three of his last four trips to the mound and was shelled in a 9-3 setback at Texas on Saturday, when he gave up nine runs and 10 hits in only 2 1/3 innings of work.
Duensing's record dropped to 3-9 in 43 games (10 starts) and his earned run average went from 4.46 to 5.28. The left-hander has faced the Mariners in a relief role twice this season and is 0-2 with a 3.18 earned run average in five games (1 start) in his career against them.
Minnesota had lost seven in a row to the Mariners until last night's win and is 2-7 in the season series so far.