Mariners-Twins Preview


It's been nearly a month since the Seattle Mariners won three in a row.

They could change Saturday at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins if Aaron Harang delivers like he did earlier this week.

After dropping a season-high eight straight, Seattle (24-31) won four of six to close out May. Friday's 3-0 series-opening victory was the Mariners' ninth win in 10 games against the Twins (23-29).

Winner of eight of 11 in Minneapolis, Seattle will go for its first 3-0 stretch since May 1-4 with Harang (2-5, 6.51 ERA) coming off one of the best starts of his career. The right-hander threw a four-hitter with a season-best eight strikeouts in Monday's 9-0 home win over San Diego for his first shutout and complete game since 2009.

"The big thing was coming out and pounding the strike zone and getting ahead in the count," he said.

Harang's only start against the Twins came during his 2002 rookie season with Oakland.

Kevin Correia (5-4, 3.96) will get the ball for Minnesota, which had its four-game winning streak snapped Friday. The club was on a 5-1 run after dropping a season-high 10 straight.

Correia had an encouraging start his last time out, throwing six innings of three-run ball - all on solo homers - in Monday's 6-3 win at Milwaukee to avoid a third consecutive losing start.

"I was kind of off in the first,'' he said after escaping a bases-loaded, no out jam. "... I felt great the rest of the game.''

The right-hander, though, didn't have a great May, finishing 2-3 with a 6.26 ERA after going 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in five April starts.

Correia is 0-1 with a 3.21 ERA in two starts versus Seattle, with the last coming in 2010 while with San Diego.

He can expect to face Kendrys Morales for the first time. Morales has homered in back-to-back games and is batting .417 (20 for 48) with 14 RBIs in the last 11 contests.

"He's been phenomenal the last couple of weeks," said Kyle Seager, who scored on Morales' two-run homer Friday.

Morales has started at first base the last six games in place of the injured Justin Smoak (strained right oblique), who likely won't return to the lineup until Sunday at the earliest.

Michael Morse's availability this weekend is also in question. Morse, the team leader with 11 homers, has missed three games with a quad injury.

Raul Ibanez is 4 for 7 with a homer off Correia.

Ryan Doumit, who finished 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Friday, has 10 hits in 29 at-bats against Harang, including three homers and two doubles.

A victory for the Mariners would give them their fourth consecutive series win at Minnesota.