Facing the only AL Central team to beat them more than once this season, the Seattle Mariners hope to gain an edge in the series with the Minnesota Twins when they resume their three-game set at the Metrodome.
After dropping two of three to the Twins in Seattle last weekend, the Mariners took the opener 10-6 Thursday to even the season series at two games apiece. The Mariners are 18-4 against Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Kansas City, losing once to each team.
Seattle went 23-18 last season against AL Central clubs.
On Thursday, Bret Boone homered, doubled twice and drove in four runs for Seattle, which won for the 10th time in its last 13 overall.
Boone is batting .364 (8-for-22) with three homers and seven RBIs during his five-game hitting streak.
Joel Pineiro will get a rematch against Kyle Lohse and the Twins after losing 7-2 to Minnesota on Saturday. Pineiro went a season-low five innings, giving up season highs of six earned runs and 12 hits.
“I stunk,” said Pineiro, a 14-game winner last season. “I just had nothing. No location. No nothing. Everything I threw up there, they either hit it or took it for a ball.”
Pineiro, a 24-year-old right-hander, is 0-2 all-time against the Twins with a 4.95 ERA in four starts.
Lohse, also 24, had his way with the Mariners on Saturday, pitching a six-hitter for his second complete game of the season. He threw 114 pitches, 82 for strikes and finished with seven strikeouts and just one walk.
“He threw whatever he wanted to, whenever he wanted to, for strikes,” Mariners third baseman Mark McLemore said of Lohse.
Lohse hasn’t lost since dropping a 7-4 road decision to the Chicago White Sox on April 26, going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in five starts.
STANDINGS: Mariners - 1st place, AL West. Twins - 1st place, AL Central.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Pineiro (4-4, 4.41 ERA). Prior to Saturday, Pineiro had won his previous two starts, surrendering five earned runs over 14 innings.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Lohse (4-3, 3.06 ERA). Lohse is 2-2 lifetime against the Mariners with a 4.44 ERA in four starts.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mariners - Carlos Guillen, .329 avg.; Boone, 14 HRs and 44 runs; Edgar Martinez, 44 RBIs; Ichiro Suzuki, 10 SBs. Twins - Jacque Jones, .339 avg., 32 runs and 6 SBs.; Bobby Kielty and Torii Hunter, 8 HRs; Hunter, 33 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Mariners - 1B John Olerud is batting .385 (5-for-13) against RHP Lohse with a homer and three RBIs. … The Mariners are 33-12 (.733) on artificial turf since the start of the 2000 season. … RF Suzuki is hitting .388 this month, and is a career .390 hitter in May. That’s the best mark of any player with more than 300 career plate appearances in May. Twins - C A.J. Pierzynski has five hits in 10 at-bats against RHP Pineiro with a homer and four RBIs. … SS Cristian Guzman is in an 0-for-21 slump, the worst skid for any Minnesota player this season. … Rookie OF Lew Ford made his major league debut Thursday, replacing CF Hunter in the eighth inning. He was 1-for-1.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mariners - 17-7 on the road; Twins - 15-11 at home.