Minnesota trails first-place Chicago by 15 1/2 games in the AL Central, making its chances of a fourth straight division crown very slim. The Twins’ best shot at making the playoffs is via the wild card, but they trail Los Angeles and Oakland—tied for the AL West lead—by seven games.
This 10-day, nine-game trip gives the Twins a chance to recover after going 9-16 since the All-Star break. Following its visit to Seattle, Minnesota plays Oakland and the White Sox.
“It’s a long trip, and it’s a big trip,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Hopefully, we’re playing better baseball.”
The Twins completed a 3-4 homestand with an 11-7 loss to Boston on Sunday, missing a chance at a three-game sweep of the defending champions. Minnesota took solace in the fact that they scored 23 runs over the weekend after managing only 22 in losing seven of its previous eight.
“We have a better feeling about ourselves,” Gardenhire said. “We’re doing a lot better offensively. We’re into the games. We’re making things happen.”
Minnesota starter Carlos Silva has been plagued by poor run support, going 0-2 with a 2.13 ERA over his last five outings. The Twins have scored 15 runs in Silva’s last five starts.
The right-hander gave up three runs and five hits over eight innings last Wednesday in a 4-3 win over Oakland. Silva did not issue a walk for the 13th time in 20 starts this season.
Silva improved to 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA against Seattle in a 4-1 win at Safeco Field on April 6. He yielded one run and scattered nine hits over seven innings, inducing the Mariners to ground into three double plays.
Seattle dropped its second straight and fourth in five games, 3-1 at Chicago on Sunday. The Mariners have scored 15 runs in that stretch.
Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4 on Sunday for his second straight multihit effort after a career-worst 0-for-22 skid. Amazingly, the speedy Suzuki has no bunt hits this season.
“There is a saying in baseball that speed takes no holiday and no break,” Seattle hitting coach Don Baylor said. “(Bunting) is a tool that Ich could take advantage of, and I’m surprised he doesn’t try to use it.”
Suzuki is a career .325 hitter in 37 games against Minnesota, including 6-for-12 in three contests this season.