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Twins-Mariners Preview

AP - Sports

After giving the Minnesota Twins the chance to earn a rare win, the Seattle Mariners turned the tables in the middle game of the series.

Fresh off the end to a lengthy skid, the Mariners will try to record back-to-back home wins for the second time this season in Sunday's finale.

Seattle (12-17) snapped a seven-game losing streak and a five-game skid at Safeco Field by limiting Minnesota to one hit in a 7-0 victory Saturday. Kyle Seager broke open a scoreless game with a two-run single in the sixth inning and hit a two-run homer in the seventh.

Ichiro Suzuki also drove in a pair of runs on a triple as the Mariners scored five times during the inning.

"That feels really good," Seager told the team's website. "(The losing streak) had gone on a little too long for our liking, for sure. ... We just got to score more runs."

The win came after major league-worst Minnesota earned its second victory in 11 games Friday. The Twins (7-19) got some bad news before Saturday's loss with designated hitter Justin Morneau heading to the disabled list because of a sore wrist.

Denard Span recorded his team's lone hit with a leadoff single in the fourth inning and Minnesota's average dropped to .239 after it was shut out for the third time in four games.

"You go through spells in a season like this," acting manager Scott Ullger said. "Hitting is contagious and lack of hitting is contagious."

Hector Noesi (1-3, 7.83 ERA) will try to take advantage of the Twins' struggles to record his first win in three weeks. The right-hander gave up three runs and three hits over 5 2-3 innings Tuesday in Tampa Bay but got one run of support in a 3-1 loss.

"He did a good job getting us into the sixth inning," manager Eric Wedge said. "It's back-to-back starts he's a little bit better, and he has some positives to work on. He has a lot to learn, but it's good for him to be a little better his last two starts."

While Noesi will make his first start against Minnesota, Twins right-hander Nick Blackburn (0-3, 6.64) will try to continue his recent success versus Seattle.

Blackburn is 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last two matchups against the Mariners and gave up two runs during a complete-game victory May 24 at Target Field. The right-hander, though, could also use a little more support from his teammates.

Blackburn has gotten a combined three runs in his four outings this season and took the loss Monday despite a solid effort against the Los Angeles Angels. He gave up three runs over six innings of a 4-3 defeat.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction," Blackburn said. "The ball was coming out of my hand well."

Seattle's Chone Figgins is 11 for 26 in his career against the right-hander, but is currently mired in a 5-for-45 slump and hitless in his last 18 at-bats.

Four current Twins players have faced Noesi with Joe Mauer recording the only hit in those combined six at-bats, a double.

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