Seattle hopes to add to Minnesota's misery
With the Twins mired in their longest losing streak since 1982, the Mariners have an opportunity to do something they haven't done in over eight years: Sweep a series in Minnesota.
Seattle will try to do just that this afternoon in the finale of a three-game series at Target Field.
The Mariners have run their winning streak to three in a row by taking the first two games of this set, extending the Twins' slide to 11 in a row in the process. That losing streak by Minnesota is the third longest in club history and its worst since a club-record 14-game skid from May 19-June 2, 1982.
The Twins seemed on their way to ended their losing streak in a big way last night, with starter Kevin Slowey taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning. However, he ended up allowing five runs over 6 2/3 frames to suffer defeat.
"It's unfortunate, things aren't falling into place right now," said Twins first baseman Chris Parmelee, who had three hits and an RBI. "It's part of the game. We're going to come back tomorrow, keeping working hard and we'll get some wins."
Seattle took advantage with a three-run seventh inning, getting a two-run single from Trayvon Robinson and an RBI double by Ichiro Suzuki. After rookie starter Michael Pineda struggled through a four-inning start, Cesar Jimenez got the win with 1 1/3 innings of relief and Brandon League recorded his 36th save of the season.
"I've liked the result the past two nights," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said, "League got it done. They did a good job being aggressive, but you know our bullpen did a great job. To get five innings out of the bullpen, it says a lot about them."
A victory today would give Seattle its longest winning streak since claiming six victories in a row from May 18-23 and would give the club its first sweep in Minnesota since a four-game blitz from May 29-June 1, 2003.
Rookie Blake Beavan gets a chance to break out the brooms and he has won back- to-back starts following a five-game winless stretch (0-3). The Seattle right- hander is coming off eight innings of scoreless, four-run ball versus the Rangers on Friday in which he did not walk a batter and struck out three.
Beavan allowed a runner past second base just once in the game, but got a double play and then a pop out to end the threat.
"He threw a great ball game for us tonight," said Wedge. "He only got into one tough situation out there and he was able to get out of it easy. The guy has a lot of confidence."
The 22-year-old evened his season record at 5-5 to go along with a 3.92 earned run average and faces the Twins for the first time.
Minnesota counters with Anthony Swarzak, who hasn't won since Aug. 3, losing four straight decisions over eight appearances. His last four outings have all been starts and he is 0-3 in that span with a 7.65 ERA.
The 26-year-old righty lasted just 1 2/3 innings versus Cleveland on Saturday in a loss, getting charged with seven runs on seven hits to fall to 3-7 with a 4.52 ERA in 25 games this year, including nine starts.
Swarzak will be making his first career start against the Mariners, having faced them once before in relief.
The Mariners have won five of seven versus the Twins this year.