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News » Mariners-Twins Preview 2009-05-08


Mariners-Twins Preview 2009-05-08


Mariners-Twins Preview 2009-05-08
The Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins have a lot in common right now and none of it is good.

A pair of offensively slumping teams look to end losing streaks Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at the Metrodome.

While Seattle (15-14) has lost four straight and eight of 11 after opening the season 12-6, Minnesota (13-16) has dropped three in a row and five of six to fall three games under .500, matching a season high.

Another strong outing by a Mariners starter went to waste Thursday as Jarrod Washburn pitched seven effective innings in a 3-1 loss at Kansas City.

Seattle had its leadoff batter on base in four innings and scored in none of them. Ichiro Suzuki had three hits and Ken Griffey Jr. had a pair, but the rest of the lineup managed only four hits and struck out 11 times.

The Mariners are batting .222 and have scored nine runs during their four-game skid. They rank near the bottom of the AL in batting average (.260), runs scored (120) and home runs (22).

"We've got to find a way to pick ourselves up out of this," Washburn told the Mariners' official Web site. "There's no magic cure. It's just you dig down deep and find something that clicks for you and get up out of it."

One of the leading culprits during Seattle's skid is third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is 2 for 14 during the losing streak. Beltre is batting .207 with no home runs and 12 RBIs this season.

Minnesota opened its four-game trip Monday with a 7-4 victory over Detroit but scored five total runs in the next three games, including Thursday night's 5-4 loss to Baltimore.

"I know it's just been four games, but it feels like it's been two weeks," outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. "Three (losses) in a row. We didn't want that to happen. We didn't expect it to happen. But it did. We go home now and we have to play better."

Joe Mauer continued to swing a hot bat with three more hits Thursday. He is 10 for 21 (.476) with a homer and four RBIs in six games since returning from offseason kidney surgery. Mauer is batting .405 (49 for 121) lifetime against Seattle.

Chris Jakubauskas (1-3, 5.76 ERA) look to end a personal three-game losing streak for the Mariners. The right-hander avoided losing his fourth consecutive start Sunday against Oakland despite allowing four runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings. That outing was particularly disappointing because the rookie was coming off his best start of the season on April 28, when he limited the White Sox to two runs over eight innings.

Jakubauskas threw two scoreless innings in relief against Minnesota on April 8.

Scott Baker (0-4, 9.15) seeks his first career win against the Mariners. Although he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Kansas City on Sunday, Baker allowed five straight hits to start the seventh, including a three-run homer, and was eventually charged with five runs over six-plus innings en route to another loss.

The fifth-year right-hander, who missed the first two weeks of the season with right shoulder stiffness, has surrendered five earned runs or more in three of his four appearances.

Baker is 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA in six career starts against Seattle.

Seattle's Jose Lopez is 9 for 18 (.500) against Baker.

These teams split a season-opening four-game series at the Metrodome April 6-9.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 8, 2009

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