(SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Mariners will be looking to cap off a very strong series when they battle the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium Sunday in the final contest of a three-game series.
They'll turn to Roenis Elias, while the Royals will counter with Yordano Ventura, a 23-year-old making his 14th start of the season.
Elias comes into the matchup with a 6-5 record on the season and a 3.91 earned run average. The left-hander has struck out 80 batters on the year and owns a .231 batting average against.
Elias has been hot in his last few outings, having picked up wins in three of his previous four starts. On Tuesday, he went seven innings against San Diego and surrendered three and one earned run in Seattle's 6-1 victory. He added six strikeouts to his resume.
Ventura has been steadily strong this season, especially of late. The righty from the Dominican Republic has a three-game personal win streak going, which included a seven-inning effort against Detroit on Tuesday. Ventura gave up eight hits and three runs in the 11-4 Royals win. In back-to-back games, Ventura has lasted a full seven innings on the mound.
With the win he picked up against Detroit, Ventura is now back to .500 on the season with a 5-5 record and a solid 3.26 ERA. Surprisingly, Ventura has struggled at home this year with a 2-4 record in eight starts, 12 walks and a 3.77 ERA.
Saturday's battle in the second leg of the series was an even bout up until the ninth inning as Seattle notched a 2-1 win.
The Mariners struck on a Cole Gillespie single that scored Brad Miller in the third inning. The Royals didn't stay down for long, as an Alex Gordon solo homer in the fifth inning knotted things at 1-1.
No one else got on the board until Dustin Ackley singled to right and scored Kyle Seager in the top of the ninth inning. Fernando Rodney entered in the bottom half of the inning and shut the door on Kansas City to record his 20th save of the season.
Both starting pitchers lasted deep into their starts. Chris Young went seven innings for the Mariners and gave up just three hits and one earned run. Likewise for Kansas City, Jason Vargas pitched a near complete game, going 8 2/3 innings before being replaced for one out. Vargas took the loss - his third on the season - while Yoervis Medina picked up the win for Seattle.
"Chris pitched extremely well," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He just had the one fastball that came back over the middle of the plate to Gordon. He probably got a little bit tired with the heat, but the bullpen did a good job."
The Royals have now lost three games in a row for the fourth time this season.