(Sports Network) - Seattle is in last place in the American League West
standings, but the Mariners are the hottest team in baseball and will try to
extend their winning streak and complete a three-game sweep of the Minnesota
Twins at Safeco Field.
The Mariners rolled to their fourth victory in a row on Saturday when John
Jaso's pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Seattle
a 3-2 victory in the middle test of the series.
"It was an exciting ball game. Unfortunately, we couldn't come up with a hit,"
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I don't know how many guys we left out
there, quite a bit with runners in scoring position. Not very good numbers
The Twins ended up leaving 17 runners on base overall and shortstop Pedro
Florimon Jr.'s triple was the only extra base hit for the visitors. Josh
Willingham leads the team with 31 home runs, 89 RBI, and 71 runs scored, but
he has gone just 2-for-16 with two home runs at the plate in his previous four
Minnesota was without Denard Span and Ben Revere on Saturday as the
outfielders sat out to recover from injuries. Revere is likely to return
to the starting lineup to give it a boost on Sunday.
Samuel Deduno has struggled with his control and walked 30 batters in 40
innings, and he still enters with a perfect 4-0 record through seven starts.
The right-hander has dropped off since giving up only two runs over 19 1/3
innings while collecting his first three wins over Kansas City, Cleveland, and
Boston, but he has still been effective.
"He's the prototypical effectively wild pitcher," teammate Ryan Doumit said.
"He's always going to be like that. He's always going to be a high-strikeout,
high-walk kind of guy. But if he can harness it -- you don't see too many
pitchers with natural movement like that -- and it's a testament to him. It
was a pretty good offensive team and he stuck it to them."
Deduno has never faced the Mariners in his career.
Seattle will hope Blake Beavan can be its fourth starting pitcher to deliver
an outstanding performance. Since Felix Hernandez threw the first perfect game
in club history on Thursday, Hisashi Iwakuma and Jason Vargas followed with
strong showings. Beavan last pitched on Monday when he had a tumultuous third
inning in the team's 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay. The 6-7, 240 pound righty
recovered, but it was not enough.
"It was just good for me to bounce back and just do what I should have been
doing all game, which is making pitches and executing pitches like I know how
to," Beavan said. "Should have been a totally different game if I can just
execute a pitch here and there and make a quality pitch instead of just a
pitch that was average."
Beavan's only encounter with the Twins came last year when he allowed two runs
in seven innings of a 3-2 loss.
Seattle's offense has been led by Dustin Ackley. The second baseman improved
his batting average to .230 by going 8-of-17 at the plate with two RBI over
the span of the four-game winning streak.
The Mariners have won 11 of their last 12 games at home. Minnesota has lost
its last four games against Seattle after winning the first meeting between
the teams this season.
The Sports Network