M's hope to stretch win streak to 6 in opener with Tribe

10:22 AM, Aug 20, 2012   |    comments
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The Seattle Mariners eye their sixth consecutive win on Monday when they begin a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field.

Seattle continued to roll on Sunday, as Blake Beavan lasted 5 1/3 effective innings and Michael Saunders launched a two-run home run to help the Mariners complete a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 5-1 victory.

Beavan (8-7) allowed one run on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts to bounce back from a loss his last time out. Josh Kinney tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings to secure his first save of the season.

"I thought Blake did a good job," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He gave us a good opportunity to win. Offensively, it was good that we separated when we did. I felt like we had some good swings today."

Eric Thames ripped an RBI double among his three hits and John Jaso added an RBI for the streaking Mariners, while Dustin Ackley had a pair of hits in the victory.

Trying to keep the momentum rolling tonight will be veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood, who is 4-10 with a 4.28 ERA. Millwood did not get a decision on Tuesday against Tampa Bay, but pitched well, as he allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings of his team's 3-2 win. He also struck out eight and walked a batter.

"He had to work," Wedge said. "He had to work in multiple innings, but I've talked to you guys about that before, he's the best that I've ever seen in regard to working out of trouble and managing situations and executing pitches, especially when things get a little thick out there."

Millwood is 4-2 lifetime against the Indians with a 4.74 ERA in seven starts.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is at the other end of the spectrum from the Mariners at the moment, having dropped five in a row after a three-game sweep in Oakland this weekend that ended with a 7-0 drubbing on Sunday.

Justin Masterson (9-11) surrendered seven runs on nine hits and a walk for the Indians, who have dropped five consecutive contests and were outscored, 21-9, in the set against the A's.

"We were completely outplayed by these guys, especially outpitched, the whole series," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said.

Hoping for a little more support tonight will be righty Ubaldo Jimenez, who is 9-12 with a 5.62 ERA. The inconsistent hurler lost for the fifth time in six decisions on Tuesday in Anaheim, as the Angels ripped him for eight runs in only four innings.

Jimenez has beaten the Mariners both times he has faced them and has pitched to a 4.20 ERA in those outings.

Cleveland has won four of five from Seattle this season.

 

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