It's been nearly a month since the Seattle Mariners won three in a row.
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.
|May 16, 2013||Aaron Harang||Day-to-Day||Lower back stiffness|
|April 23, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 22, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Torn right hamstring|
|April 15, 2013||Stephen Pryor||60-Day DL||Torn right lat muscle|
|April 12, 2013||Michael Morse||Day-to-Day||Fractured finger|
|April 11, 2013||Michael Saunders||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|May 29, 2013||Trevor Plouffe||15-Day DL||Strained left calf|
|May 26, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||7-Day DL||Head injury|
|May 23, 2013||Pedro Florimon||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right index finger|
|May 22, 2013||Trevor Plouffe||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|May 22, 2013||Trevor Plouffe||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|April 16, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Back contusion|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Batting fourth for Minnesota because of a teammate's illness, Ryan Doumit embraced the cleanup spot.
He drove the ball all afternoon, no hit more powerful than the one that ended the game in celebration.
Doumit's two-run triple off Tom Wilhelmsen with one out in the ninth inning sent the Twins to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.
"He scuffled a little bit early, trying to find his swing, getting a better feel for it, and I think you're seeing the guy we had last year who drove in a lot of runs and did a lot of good for us," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire , who put Doumit fourth for Justin Morneau , who was out with flu-like symptoms.
This was the third blown save of the season for Wilhelmsen (0-1), all in his last four tries. The right-hander pitched a perfect ninth for the save Friday night, but he walked the first three batters he faced about 17 hours later after inheriting a 4-2 lead. Josh Willingham followed with a sacrifice fly, and Doumit - who missed the cycle by a home run - drove in two more for the walk-off win.
Doumit went 3 for 5 to raise his batting average from .218 to .230. He's 6 for 16 with one of each type of extra-base hit and six RBIs in the last four games.
"Some guys get up there to try to get on base. Some guys get up there to try to do some damage. I was hitting cleanup today. I was up there to do some damage," Doumit said. "I was looking for one spot and a pitch I could drive, and I got it."
Wilhelmsen also issued two walks in a squandered save at San Diego on Wednesday. This one wiped out two homers by Jason Bay and an effective start by Aaron Harang . Wilhelmsen had two strikes on Doumit but threw him a fastball straight down the middle.
"The only strike I threw," he said, adding: "He knew it was coming and lit it up."
Joe Mauer rounded a wet infield from first base to slide into home for the winning run in the rain. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he never considered removing Wilhelmsen, whose ERA jumped from 0.75 to 1.85.
"Closers, you live and die with them. He makes a pitch there and puts the ball on the ground? Game over. We win," Wedge said.
Rookie Caleb Thielbar (1-0) picked up his first major league victory with a scoreless ninth inning.
Four of Bay's eight home runs, all of them with no one on base, have been in his last five games. Kyle Seager also homered and scored after a single in the seventh.
Kevin Correia pitched into the seventh inning but gave up three home runs for the second straight start. After posting a 3-1 record and 2.23 ERA over five April appearances, the right-hander has been hit hard.
"Pick your poison. It's a lot quicker to give up two solo home runs than five base hits and two runs in an inning, so it's streaky. When I'm behind in the count, I've got to be a little bit more aware of throwing a better pitch," Correia said.
After Brian Dozier 's two-out single tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the sixth for the Twins, Correia recorded two quick outs in the next inning before Bay drove a 2-1 breaking ball into the left-field seats. With Brian Duensing in the game, Raul Ibanez 's single stretched the lead to 4-2.
Doumit played catcher for Mauer, who was the designated hitter.
"As far as I'm concerned he made three mistakes today, and that's good pitching," Doumit said of Correia. "He's kept us in games."
In his first season with the Mariners after injuries limited him to a career-low 70 games and a .165 batting average in 2012, Bay has sure rediscovered his power stroke this week. He hit 32 or more homers in three of five years from 2005-09 but went deep only 26 times for the Mets over the last three miserable seasons.
The Mariners have been struggling to find support in their rotation behind the dominant duo of Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma , who shut out the Twins over 7 2-3 innings Friday night. But Harang has been sharp this week. He spun a four-hit shutout of San Diego at home Monday. This time, he allowed only four hits and two runs while striking out four. One of the runs was unearned.
NOTES: The Mariners have brought up RHP Jeremy Bonderman to start Sunday's game, which will mark the 30-year-old's first major league appearance since 2010. LHP Scott Diamond (3-4, 5.22), who is winless in his last four starts, will take his turn for the Twins. ... Of Wilhelmsen's 23 appearances, 19 have been scoreless. He has allowed 10 hits but 11 walks over 24 1-3 innings. ... Thielbar, a native of Randolph, Minn., about 40 miles south of Minneapolis, hasn't allowed a run in his first 7 1-3 innings.