Red Sox-Mariners Preview
By JEFF BARTL
(AP) -- Stellar starting pitching has been the catalyst for the Seattle Mariners' current hot stretch, but their offense also displayed in the latest victory that it can be just as dangerous when it gets rolling.
Seattle goes for a season high-tying fifth straight win while looking to hand the visiting Boston Red Sox a fifth defeat in six games Tuesday night.
The Mariners (41-36) have won seven of nine behind a 1.81 ERA from their starters after Felix Hernandez tossed seven solid innings in Monday's 12-3 victory.
After scoring two runs in each of its previous two games, Seattle tied season bests in runs and hits with 14 as Logan Morrison went 4 for 4 with two homers and four RBIs.
Kyle Seager added three hits while Endy Chavez had a bases-loaded triple in a six-run fourth inning as the Mariners ended a six-game skid against the Red Sox.
Morrison entered Monday hitting .164 with two home runs in 20 games this season while battling hamstring troubles for the Mariners, who rank 14th in the AL with a .241 team average.
"You stick to the process, keep grinding out at-bats, and the next thing you know you look at the end of the year and have pretty good numbers," Morrison said. "That's what I hope happens this year."
As the offense looks to build on one of its better performances, Erasmo Ramirez takes the mound trying to continue finding his control.
Ramirez (1-4, 4.62 ERA) hasn't allowed a run in 15 2-3 innings over his last three starts, but he's struggled to hit his spots while walking 11 in that stretch. He gave up two hits and walked two in six innings before the bullpen let him down in Seattle's 4-1 loss to San Diego on Thursday.
"He's struggled to this point," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I wanted to get him out of there on a positive note (in his last start) and continue to build."
Nothing positive came from the right-hander's last start against Boston on July 11. Ramirez gave up seven runs, walked four and threw 101 pitches in just 4 2-3 innings of Seattle's 8-7, 10-inning loss.
This time he'll be facing a Red Sox lineup that hasn't packed nearly that same punch recently. Boston (35-42) has scored three runs or fewer in nine of its last 10, and its .214 average during that stretch is among the worst in baseball.
Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli accounted for six of the Red Sox's seven hits Monday with two apiece. Napoli homered for the second straight day and is 6 for 14 over his last four.
Jake Peavy will take the mound in this contest looking to end a slump of his own. Peavy (1-5, 4.52) is 0-4 with a 5.76 ERA over his last eight starts, with Boston losing seven. He gave up four runs and walked three in 6 1-3 innings of Thursday's 4-2 loss to Oakland.
"That's just the way it's been going," Peavy said. "Without (the offense) scoring a ton of runs, those little mistakes mean everything."
Peavy made plenty of mistakes the last time he pitched in Seattle, giving up six runs and seven hits in 2 1-3 innings and leaving with a rib injury in a 7-4 loss June 4, 2013, while pitching for the Chicago White Sox. He had a 0.86 ERA while winning his first three career starts at Safeco Field prior to that outing.
Robinson Cano, hitting .390 in his last nine against Boston, is 5 for 12 with a homer and two doubles lifetime off Peavy.
Updated June 24, 2014