Garcia, who has been plagued by inconsistency this season, endured an eight-start winless streak from June 29-Aug. 7. However, the right-hander has since snapped back into form by going 2-0 in his last four outings, yielding just one earned run in three of those starts.
On Thursday, Garcia did not receive a decision in Seattle’s 3-2 home loss to Tampa Bay despite yielding just one earned run and four hits over 6 2-3 solid innings.
Garcia is unbeaten in 10 career starts against the Devil Rays, going 6-0 with a 2.58 ERA.
The Mariners got a go-ahead, two-run double from Carlos Guillen in the top of the 11th inning Tuesday, holding off the Devil Rays 10-8.
Guillen tied a career high with five RBIs for Seattle, which remained two games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West. The Mariners maintained a one-game lead over Boston in the wild-card race.
Aubrey Huff homered for the Devil Rays—his seventh homer in 11 games—but Tampa Bay lost its fourth straight and 10th in 12 games.
With a victory in either of the last two games of the three-game set, the Mariners will clinch the season series from the Devil Rays, who are in their first year under former Seattle manager Lou Piniella.
STANDINGS: Mariners - 2nd place, 2 GB, AL West. Devil Rays - 5th place, 29 1/2 GB, AL East.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Garcia (11-12, 5.00 ERA). Garcia is 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA in five career starts at Tropicana Field.
DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Doug Waechter (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Waechter earned a win in his first career appearance Wednesday, tossing 2 1-3 innings of two-hit relief as the Devil Rays beat Seattle 8-4 at Safeco Field. The 22-year-old right-hander is the first St. Petersburg, Fla. native to play for the Devil Rays.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .318 avg., 99 runs and 30 SBs; Bret Boone, 32 HRs and 104 RBIs. Devil Rays - Huff, .314 avg., 27 HRs and 87 RBIs; Rocco Baldelli and Huff, 74 runs; Carl Crawford, 45 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 4-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Mariners - Seattle committed a season-high four errors in the first two innings Tuesday. SS Rey Sanchez was charged with two errors on one play in the first inning. He had just two errors in his previous 27 games. … OF Suzuki has just three hits in his last 32 at-bats, including a 1-for-7 performance in the series opener. … The Mariners brought up six players— RHPs Gil Meche, Aaron Looper, J.J. Putz and Brian Sweeney, INF Chad Meyers and OF Jamal Strong—from Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday. Meche was optioned to Tacoma Sunday as part of the Mariners’ postseason roster adjustment. He is 14-10 with a 4.12 ERA in 27 starts. Devil Rays - C Pete LaForest was called up from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday and SS Terry Shumpert (hamstring) was activated from the 15-day disabled list. … OF Huff is 4-for-15 (.267) with a homer against RHP Garcia. … Tampa Bay has dropped four straight at home.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mariners - 38-28 on the road; Devil Rays - 29-38 at home.
INJURIES: Mariners - INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Rett Johnson (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Thornton (elbow), 60-day DL. Devil Rays - SS Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; OF Ben Grieve (blood clot), 60-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 60-day DL.