Mariners-Indians Preview

The Associated Press

The Cleveland Indians are showing why they have the potential to be a solid offensive club.

Hoping to continue their recent success at the plate, the Indians try to match a season high with their fourth straight win Thursday against the visiting Seattle Mariners.

Since scoring a run apiece in the last two of a three-game skid at Boston, Cleveland (21-16) has totaled 19 and recorded 32 hits while winning three in a row. Travis Hafner homered and drove in three runs while Shin-Soo Choo added three of the Indians' 14 hits in a 9-3 rout of the Mariners on Wednesday.

This is Cleveland's most productive offensive stretch since also scoring 19 runs during a three-game winning streak May 2-4.

Choo, 6 for 13 in the last three games since moving to the leadoff spot, has batted .429 (12 for 28) in his last seven games against the Mariners at Progressive Field.

"He's one of our key guys in our lineup," manager Manny Acta told the Indians' official website. "In order for us to go anywhere, he needs to produce. That's how important he is to our lineup."

The Indians hope to continue to hit and give scheduled starter Zach McAllister (1-1, 4.15 ERA) more support than in his last outing.

Set to make his third start during his second stint with the Indians in 2012, McAllister has allowed four runs in each of his first two outings. The most recent came with eight strikeouts over seven innings of a 4-1 loss at Boston on Saturday.

In his only previous appearance against the Mariners, McAllister was roughed up for 10 runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 12-7 home loss Aug. 23.

The Mariners (16-23), however, have recorded four runs and 18 hits during a three-game skid. They've failed to score more than three runs in each of their five defeats over the last six contests.

Second baseman Dustin Ackley homered and had three of the six hits Wednesday for Seattle, which has averaged 2.2 runs while losing 11 of 12 on the road. The Mariners are 6 for 78 (.077) with runners in scoring position during that stretch.

While Ackley has batted .333 with two home runs during a 12-game hitting streak, teammate Brendan Ryan is in the midst of a 5-for-56 slump and 0 for 16 in his last five contests.

After ace Felix Hernandez was tagged for eight runs in 3 2-3 innings Wednesday, the Mariners hope Hector Noesi (2-4, 6.32) can end his road struggles when he faces Cleveland for the first time in the finale of the two-game set.

The right-hander allowed five runs and two homers in seven innings of a 6-2 loss at New York on Saturday to fall to 0-3 with an 8.27 ERA in four road starts. Despite Noesi's problems away from home, manager Eric Wedge continues to be pleased with his young pitcher's progress.

"This kid is going to be a heck of a pitcher, and it's been good to watch him learn each and every time he goes out there," Wedge told the Mariners' official website.

What to Read Next