The Mariners look to go into the All-Star break a season-best 13 games over .500 on Sunday afternoon when they conclude a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics.
Beltre homered for the third time in two games and Felix Hernandez allowed two hits in eight innings Saturday in Seattle’s 4-0 victory.
Beltre’s three-run homer in the second inning was all the support Hernandez needed as the Mariners improved to 3-3 under new manager John McLaren, who took over after Mike Hargrove’s sudden resignation last weekend.
Seattle (48-36) has won 11 of 14 to pull within three games of the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels. A victory in their final game before the All-Star break would put the Mariners 13 games over .500 for the first time since they finished 93-69 in 2003.
Beltre is 10-for-15 with three home runs and nine RBIs in his last four games. He had reached base safely seven straight times before striking out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
The Mariners have won four of five games in Oakland this season after going winless in nine games there last year on the way to a 2-17 mark in the season series.
“You think about the way played against these guys last year. We weren’t very good,” Beltre said. “To be able to come back this year and show them we are a better team and we are ready to fight them. So far so good, especially the way we have played in their ballpark.”
Oakland (44-43) is 2-4 on a seven-game homestand, and has been held to three runs or fewer in five consecutive games.
The A’s were shut out for the seventh time Saturday, tying them with Minnesota and Chicago for most in the AL.
Blanton (8-4, 3.09 ERA) will try to prevent Oakland from falling to .500 with another outstanding start at home. Developing into a top starter in the AL, the right-hander has been particularly good at McAfee Coliseum, where he is 4-2 with a league-best 1.69 ERA in eight starts. He has allowed only three runs in his past 33 1-3 innings at home.
He tossed a four-hitter for his AL-leading third complete game on Tuesday, limiting visiting Toronto to one run with one walk and four strikeouts in a 3-1 victory.
Blanton is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last five starts overall, and 6-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 10 career starts against Seattle.
Ichiro Suzuki is one of the few Mariners that has had any success against Blanton. He is batting .323 (10-for-31) off the right-hander.
Seattle’s Ryan Feierabend (1-3, 9.72) hopes to rebound from a miserable performance. The rookie left-hander lasted only 1 1-3 innings Tuesday in a 17-3 loss at Kansas City, allowing 10 runs and eight hits, including two homers. His ERA jumped from 6.46 to 9.72 as he surrendered nine runs or more for the second time in three starts.
Feierabend pitched at least 6 2-3 innings in each of his first two major league outings, but has failed to reach the fourth inning twice in his last three starts.
This is his first appearance against the Athletics.