(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals will try to get back on the winning track Saturday as they play host to the Seattle Mariners in game two of a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
Two strong pitchers will take the mound Saturday looking to continue their dominance this season - Chris Young for Seattle and Jason Vargas for Kansas City.
Young will hit the hill sporting a 6-4 record on the season with a 3.40 earned run average. He enters the contest having lost two of his last three games, but is coming off perhaps his best start on the year.
The veteran Young went six innings Monday against the Padres and allowed just four hits, holding the Padres scoreless in that outing. He struck out six batters and walked only one in the eventual 5-1 Mariners win.
"I had a nice rhythm," Young said. "I just tried to be aggressive in the strike zone early."
Kansas City has certainly been happy with Vargas's production this year. The 31-year-old lefty has posted a 7-2 record this season with a 3.25 ERA, having racked up 71 strikeouts to just 25 walks. He's won three of his last four games, and hasn't picked up a loss in a start since May 19.
Vargas went seven innings in his last outing against Detroit, giving up seven hits and two earned runs in an 11-8 Royals victory.
He's been strong in his career versus Seattle as well. In four starts against the Mariners, Vargas has delivered a 3-1 record, including one complete game, and has surrendered just five runs with 27 punchouts. Vargas's career ERA against Seattle sits at a healthy 1.59.
The Royals were back in action Friday night to kick off the series with the Mariners. On Thursday, Kansas City had a 10-game win streak snapped by the Tigers in the finale of a four-game set.
For the first time since May 31-June 1, the Royals have lost back-to-back games after dropping Friday night's contest to the Mariners, 7-5. Hisashi Iwakuma lasted five innings as the starter for Seattle, and allowed nine hits and five earned runs.
"Listen, we ran into a buzz saw," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "These guys are hot and everything is going for them. When you run into teams like that you have to play extremely well."
Charlie Furbush earned the win for the Mariners, thanks to offensive help from Logan Morrison (two hits, three RBI), Robinson Cano (two hits, two RBI) and James Jones (three hits).
James Shields went seven innings and surrendered nine hits and five runs. Greg Holland was tagged with the loss for Kansas City. Billy Butler recorded three hits, and Omar Infante struck out four times in the contest.
The loss drops Kansas City a half-game back in the AL Central standings.