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Rangers-Mariners Preview

AP - Sports

After winning in spite of an uncharacteristically poor pitching performance, the Seattle Mariners hope things return to business as usual at home.

They'll look for improved command from Roenis Elias in Monday night's series opener against the Texas Rangers.

The Mariners (71-58) won for the 14th time in 18 games Sunday, taking an 8-6 victory in Boston. Hisashi Iwakuma turned in the shortest start of his career, giving up five runs in 2 1-3 innings, but six relievers limited Boston to one run while striking out nine and Fernando Rodney recorded his 38th save.

Seattle's starting pitchers have been dominant at Safeco Field lately, posting a 1.61 ERA during an 8-1 stretch.

Robinson Cano exited in the third inning due to an illness but is hopeful to play Monday.

"I just feel like I have the flu," Cano, who has 10 RBIs over his last nine matchups with Texas, told MLB's official website. "I got dizzy out there. I feel a little bit better now."

Logan Morrison missed Saturday's game with a similar bug but returned Sunday with a pair of hits. He is batting .333 while collecting at least one hit in 21 of his last 22 contests.

Dustin Ackley scored three runs and was a home run shy of the cycle Sunday while driving in a run. He totaled six RBIs in the three-game sweep of the Red Sox.

Elias (9-10, 4.09 ERA) owns a 2.10 ERA over his last five starts though he has failed to complete six innings in any of those contests. He's issued 14 walks in 25 2-3 innings while going 2-2 in that span and his 3.50 walks per nine innings on the season is one of the AL's worst rates.

He walked a season-high six while giving up one run over four innings in a 4-1 defeat at Philadelphia on Monday.

"I was erratic with my fastball," Elias said through a translator. "I felt good physically, but it just wasn't my day."

The left-handed rookie is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts versus Texas.

The Rangers (50-79) seized a 3-1 win over Kansas City on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep before opening a 10-game trip.

Adrian Beltre recorded two hits for the fifth straight game and provided one of Texas' five doubles Sunday - one shy of a season high for the team.

Miles Mikolas (1-5, 7.48), who has recorded only two quality starts in nine games for the Rangers, is set to face the Mariners for the first time. He's been much better on the road, going 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA in five outings compared to posting a 13.73 mark in losing his four home starts.

"I'd like to think there's really no difference, it just so happens that a lot of my lumps have come at home," the right-hander said.

Mikolas yielded three runs and eight hits in five-plus innings of a 4-3, 10-inning loss at Miami on Tuesday, throwing 98 pitches.

The Rangers are 7-23 away from home since June 17, though they took two of three in Seattle from June 13-15 and lead the season series 7-5.

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