A recent surge has the Seattle Mariners above .500 for the first time in two weeks.
The Mariners look for their third win in a row when they close out their two-game home series against the struggling Chicago White Sox on Wednesday afternoon.
Adrian Beltre went 3-for-4, Raul Ibanez drove in three runs and Richie Sexson hit a two-run homer in Seattle’s 5-2 victory over Chicago on Tuesday - its sixth win in seven games after a six-game losing streak.
The Mariners, who trail the Los Angeles Angels by two games for the AL West lead, are 3-1 entering the final contest of their five-game homestand.
Seattle (11-10) also has a winning record for the first time since it was 5-4 on April 17.
Beltre is 5-for-8 in his last two games, while Sexson, who is hitting just .151, homered for the first time since April 18, giving him four on the season.
“That was the topper with the month I’ve been having,” said Sexson, who has a team-leading 16 RBIs. “May’s going to be a lot better.”
Of Sexson’s 11 hits, 10 have gone for extra bases.
Catcher Kenji Johjima is expected to return to the Mariners lineup Wednesday after missing two games with back spasms.
Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn allowed two runs in seven innings Tuesday, two nights after Cha Seung Baek yielded one run in 6 1-3 innings of a victory over Kansas City. The Seattle rotation has given up two or fewer runs in five of the last six games, after doing so just three times in the first 15 games of the season.
Looking for another strong outing from their starters, the Mariners will hand the ball to Miguel Batista (2-2, 7.54 ERA) on Wednesday. The 36-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings to even his record in Seattle’s 4-2 win at Oakland on Thursday.
Batista is 0-1 with a 2.93 lifetime ERA in seven games - four starts - against Chicago.
“We’ve got to learn to play the next couple weeks without them,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Chicago has lost four of five and has scored just four total runs in the last three games. The White Sox, who are hitting a major league worst .222, have struggled to support Wednesday’s starter, rookie John Danks.
The White Sox have scored seven runs in the four games Danks (0-3, 5.32) has started. The 22-year-old left-hander allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings of Chicago’s 6-2 loss to Detroit last Wednesday.
“Every time he pitches we don’t score, we don’t help him,” Guillen said. “One thing I love about this kid, I’ve said this before, this kid stayed out there like a man.”