Mariners-Indians Preview

The Associated Press

Ubaldo Jimenez is finally enjoying some success with the Cleveland Indians.

The right-hander looks to win a fourth straight start for the first time in almost three years when the Indians host the surging Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

Jimenez (3-2, 5.55 ERA), who won 46 games and tossed a no-hitter for Colorado from 2008-10, is 16-23 with a 5.35 ERA in 49 starts since he was traded to Cleveland (22-17) at the 2011 deadline. However, he's allowed three runs, 10 hits and struck out 20 over 18 2-3 innings while winning three straight starts since he went 0-8 with a 7.05 ERA in 12 starts dating to last season.

"I think it's all about my mechanics,'' said Jimenez, who last won four consecutive starts during a seven-game run for the Rockies from May 15-June 17, 2010. "I think the last three games I've been able to repeat my mechanics with every pitch.''

He gave up a solo homer and two other hits while fanning eight in six innings of a 7-6 win at Detroit on Saturday.

"I've been able to go out there for the last three or four games and compete and give the team a chance to be close on the scoreboard," Jimenez said.

He is 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA in three starts versus Seattle.

The Indians return home for six games after they won 10-4 at Philadelphia on Wednesday to split a two-game interleague set. Cleveland has won 14 of 18 overall and nine of 11 at home.

Second baseman Jason Kipnis had three hits, including a three-run homer, Wednesday. He's batted .357 with a home run in his last three games against the Mariners (20-21).

Indians catcher Carlos Santana is 5 for 32 (.156) in his last 10 games, but batting .364 with two home runs and six RBIs while hitting safely in nine straight versus Seattle.

The Mariners have a chance to reach .500 for the first time since they were 4-4 on April 8 after winning the final two of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium. Michael Morse homered for one of his two hits and emergency starter Hector Noesi and five relievers held New York in check for a 3-2 win Thursday.

Seattle has won 12 of 18, including five of eight on the road.

Morse is 9 for 15 in four games since he went 1 for 18 in his previous five. He's batted .343 with a home run and four RBIs in 11 career games versus Cleveland.

Seattle rookie Brandon Maurer (2-5, 5.97) makes his first appearance against the Indians looking to avoid a third straight losing start. Maurer has given up seven runs and three homers in nine innings of the last two starts after he yielded four earned and two home runs while going 2-1 in the previous three.

The right-hander allowed three runs in five innings of a 4-3 loss to Oakland on Saturday.

"We've seen it at times this year when he's been what we thought he could be," catcher Kelly Shoppach told the Mariners' official website. "Every start out there he just competes."

The Indians and Mariners split eight games last season.

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