They have followed their seven-game losing streak by winning two games in a row, including today's 5-2 decison over the Minnesota Twins - but are the Seattle Mariners ready for the Detroit Tigers?
They were two weeks ago, when the swept the Tigers in Detroit but didn't face their best pitching. This time, Seattle matches up Doug Fister, Justin Verlander and Drew Smyly, who is 1-0 with a 1.61 earned run average.
Mariners bats heated up against the 7-20 Twins, scoring 12 runs the past two games, and while Jesus Montero and Kyle Seager have solidified the heart of the order, teammates like Dustin Ackley and Mike Carp have shown signs of slow progress, too.
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Today, starter Hector Noesi put together his best effort since working eight scoreless innings against Oakland on April 14.
"It wasn't quite as good as Oakland, but it was close," Noesi said after allowing one run in seven innings and winnng his second game.
The offense surged early - Montero had a two-run first-inning double, and Seager followed by singling him home for a 3-0 lead. Carp added his first home run and Brendan Ryan's sac fly scored Ackley, who'd tripled.
"I'm a month behind everyone, but I'm seeing a lot of pitches and feeling closer every day," Carp said.
So they beat Nick Blackurn today for their second win in a row. Getting No. 3 or No. 4 figures to be a lot tougher.
Suggest any lineups for right-handers Fister and Verlander?