Mariners Indians Preview - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mariners Indians Preview

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by Brad Wall

The Mariners continue their nine-game home stand at Safeco Field and for the first time of the season face an opponent that isn't an AL West rival, the Cleveland Indians.

Seattle is 6-5 on the season and currently second in the division behind 8-2 Texas. The Indians are 4-4 and sit third in the AL Central behind Detroit and Chicago.

In tomorrow's matchup, Kevin Milwood will take the mound against Cleveland's Justin Masterson. Milwood is coming off of a solid outing against the Rangers where he earned a no-decision allowing one run on four hits and striking out seven in six innings. Masterson opened the season with an impressive eight inning one run two hit and 10 strike out performance against Toronto. In his most recent game, he gave up three runs on eight hits in a loss against the White Sox.

Wednesday's probables include the Mariner's Jason Vargas going head to head with Derek Lowe. Vargas will get his fourth start of the season and is 1-1 on the season with a 3.44 ERA, 14 hits allowed and 12 strikeouts thrown. Lowe threw a seven inning five hit shutout in his Indian debut versus the Blue Jays. He was pounded for eleven hits by Kansas City but managed to only allow three runs in an 8-3 win over the Royals.

The series finale on Thursday will feature Seattle's ace Felix Hernandez going up against the Tribe's Josh Tomlin. King Felix (1-1) has faced the Athletics in all three of his starts this season, the most recent being a 4-0 loss where Hernandez threw for seven innings allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. The M's were unable to provide any run support for Hernandez in that game, as they were only able to produce three hits. Tomlin threw for five innings in a loss to the White Sox allowing four runs on seven hits. In his most recent performance, which was in relief, Tomlin gave up six hits allowing four runs in 3 and 2/3 innings.

Offensively the Indians, whose lineup contains former Mariners Jose Lopez and Shin-Soo Choo, have gone yard at least once in every game this season with a total of fifteen on the year to lead the majors. They also managed to put across eight runs in each win over the Royals last weekend on the way to a sweep. Outfielder Shelley Duncan leads the team with a  .320 batting average in 25 at-bats along with two home runs.

In willingness to experiment with the lineup, Manager Eric Wedge has seen solid production from the top half of the order. Ichiro Suzuki leads the team with 13 hits along with the other four players with at least ten  (Ackley 11, Figgins 11, Montero 10, Seager 10). Jesus Montero has been very efficient for the M's getting a hit in eight of the ten games he's played in.

All three game's first pitches are schedule for 7:10 p.m.

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