Seattle (32-30) at Detroit (33-28)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Thu Jun 9, 2011
  • TV: ROOT, FSD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After snapping a long losing streak in Chicago, the Seattle Mariners now have their sights set on extending a run in Detroit.

Looking to win their fifth straight at Comerica Park, the Mariners will face a stiff test from the Tigers’ Justin Verlander(notes) on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.

The Mariners have outscored the Tigers 32-7 over the last four matchups in Detroit, including a three-game sweep from April 26-28.

Miguel Olivo(notes) spearheaded Seattle in that series by going 7 for 13 with two homers. Justin Smoak(notes) also went deep twice and knocked in eight, and Ichiro Suzuki(notes) and Chone Figgins(notes) added five hits each.

Since allowing four runs in six innings of a 10-1 loss to the Mariners on April 27, however, Verlander (6-3, 3.04 ERA) hasn’t been beaten.

The right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA in seven starts, a stretch that includes his second career no-hitter May 7 at Toronto. While recording wins in each of his last two appearances, Verlander has allowed two runs and 11 hits in 15 2-3 innings with 10 strikeouts.

“I think he was throwing 99 in the eighth inning,” Gordon Beckham(notes) said Thursday after Verlander and the Tigers beat the White Sox 4-2. “It’s hard to hit a guy that’s throwing 99 with the kind of breaking stuff he has and the off-speed stuff.”

Verlander is 2-6 with 4.20 ERA in eight starts versus Seattle (32-30) after posting wins in his first five against the club.

The Mariners snapped a 10-game skid on Chicago’s South Side with a 7-4, 10-inning win over the White Sox on Wednesday. Olivo had a go-ahead two-run double and finished with three RBIs.

“(Olivo) has always been a guy that’s gotten big hits,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “I’ve been on the other side against him for a lot of years and he’s a step-up kind of guy.”

The Tigers are going for their fifth straight home win after failing to complete a sweep on the road over the defending AL champions. Detroit racked up 21 runs and 38 hits in the first two games of its series with Texas, but managed just nine hits in a 7-3 loss Wednesday.

“We won four of six against two excellent teams,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “That’s a good week’s work.”

Don Kelly(notes) homered and drove in two as the Tigers (33-28) remained 1 1/2 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central. Leadoff hitter Austin Jackson(notes) was 12 for 30 while hitting safely in all six games on the trip, but he’s 1 for 26 with nine strikeouts versus Seattle this year.

Having alternated losses and wins in his last three starts, Doug Fister(notes) (3-6, 3.29) takes the mound for the Mariners. The right-hander has been consistent in his last two outings, but came away with different results.

Facing Baltimore on May 30, Fister gave up three runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings as Seattle won 4-3. He also surrendered three runs and seven hits in seven innings Saturday against Tampa Bay, but the Mariners fell 3-2.

Fister gave up three bloop singles and two walks that led to the Rays scoring all their runs in the second inning.

Fister is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts against the Tigers after defeating them April 19. The loss came last season in Detroit.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Fister Was vs. J. Verlander Det
11-13 Record 24-5
2.83 ERA 2.40
146 K 250
37 BB 57
1.06 WHIP 0.92

Scoreboard

Thursday, Jun 9