The Cleveland Indians haven't lost any ground in the AL Central despite opening the second half with a subpar showing against one of baseball's worst teams. They now face the club with the longest winning streak in the majors.
The Indians try to hand the Mariners their first loss in seven games in Monday night's opener in Seattle.
After a pair of 3-2 losses at Minnesota following the All-Star break, Cleveland (52-46) salvaged the final game of the set with Sunday's 7-1 victory to end a four-game road skid.
"You've seen the last couple games. We were just a little bit sloppy kind of all the way around," Masterson told baseball's official website. "I think (this) is a nice one - a little kick in the pants."
The Indians remain only 1 1/2 games behind division-leading Detroit, which also dropped two of three in Kansas City.
Cleveland swept a four-game home series from the Mariners from May 17-20, but appears to be making its first trip to Seattle at the wrong time.
The Mariners (46-52) extended their season-best winning streak to six with a 12-5 victory at Houston on Sunday.
"We've been swinging it well and it was just one of those adjustment periods we had to go through and get back after it the next day," Franklin said.
The Mariners have hit 11 homers and outscored their opponents 44-20 during their longest winning streak since posting eight consecutive victories Aug. 14-22.
They'll try continue that production against right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4, 4.56 ERA), who is 3-0 with a 3.75 ERA over his last seven outings.
Jimenez, however, didn't get through the fifth inning in his last start - his shortest since June 7 - yielding four runs in four-plus innings in a 6-4 win over Kansas City on July 14.
Jimenez is 2-0 with a 4.21 ERA in four career starts versus the Mariners. He's faced them once this season, striking out nine and giving up two runs in five-plus innings before leaving without a decision in a 6-3 win May 17.
Michael Saunders is 4 for 8 with a home run lifetime when facing Jimenez and looks to extend a 10-game hitting streak overall.
Seattle's Aaron Harang (4-8, 5.38 ERA) hopes to bounce back from one of his worst starts, allowing seven runs, eight hits and a season-high three walks over five-plus innings in an 11-4 loss to Boston on July 10.
The right-hander had gone 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in his previous five starts.
Harang is 4-2 with a 2.95 ERA in 10 career starts against the Indians, though he hasn't faced them since 2010 when he was with Cincinnati.
Michael Bourn has seen Harang the most of any Indian, going 7 for 17 with a triple and two doubles against him since the start of the 2010 season. He also went 7 for 18 in the first series of the season against the Mariners.
Kipnis went 8 for 17 with a home run in that set, leaving him with a .419 average, two homers and six RBIs over a seven-game hitting streak against Seattle.
|July 20, 2013||Corey Kluber||Day-to-Day||Left hip tightness|
|June 04, 2013||Asdrubal Cabrera||15-Day DL||Right quadriceps strain|
|June 04, 2013||Asdrubal Cabrera||15-Day DL||Right quadriceps strain|
|June 03, 2013||Zach McAllister||15-Day DL||Sprained right middle finger|
|May 30, 2013||Ryan Raburn||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower right leg cramp|
|May 27, 2013||Chris Perez||15-Day DL||Right shoulder soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Nick Franklin||Day-to-Day||Left game - knee soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
|June 21, 2013||Michael Morse||15-Day DL||Strained right quad|
SEATTLE (AP) -- Once the shock of hearing their manager was headed for the hospital after suddenly not feeling well, the Seattle Mariners kept their July power surge rolling.
Kendrys Morales and Mike Zunino each homered, Aaron Harang pitched seven strong innings and the Mariners won their season-high seventh straight with a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.
The Mariners improved on the longest current win streak in baseball and did it without manager Eric Wedge on the dugout railing. Wedge suffered dizziness during batting practice and had to be helped off the field and into the Mariners clubhouse by team personnel. Wedge was examined by team physicians Dr. Mitch Storey and Dr. Edward Khalfayan, and the team training staff at the stadium.
Despite Wedge eventually feeling better, the team decided to have him examined at a hospital. General manager Jack Zduriencik said before the game he expected the skipper to be back at the stadium Tuesday. But bench coach Robby Thompson , who managed the team on Monday, said Wedge was expected to spend the night.
"Right now they're just doing a series of tests and obviously he's going to stay overnight and we'll know more in the morning once all of those results get in," Thompson said. "He's resting and he's feeling fine right now, he's feeling a lot better. ... He should be fine and I'm sure the `W' is going to help him out a little bit."
Morales led off the fourth inning with a homer and Zunino did the same in the fifth off Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez , helping Seattle increase its league-leading total to 29 homers in July. The seven-game streak is the longest for Seattle since winning eight straight in August 2012.
Cleveland pitchers had gone nine games - 85 innings - without allowing a home run. Jimenez (7-5) kept the streak going through 88 innings until Morales led off the fourth with his 15th homer of the season, which curled just inside the right-field foul pole.
An inning later, Zunino fell behind 0-2 and Jimenez tried to sneak a fastball past the rookie. But fastballs are the one pitch Zunino has shown he can hit at the major league level, and he lined a 411-foot shot into the left field bullpens for his second career homer.
Seattle has now homered in 25 of the last 26 games, the only break in the streak coming last Saturday when they won in Houston with just one hit.
"Every day you're a different player, but we've been connecting here and every time you connect that's a positive thing and you can build on that," Morales said through an interpreter. "You've got to work hard in the cage with your teammates every day and I think that's a fundamental thing that we're really focusing on right now."
Harang (5-8) gave up a solo homer in the first to Nick Swisher , and danced around trouble for his second win in the last three starts. Tom Wilhelmsen survived the ninth for his 22nd save.
Wilhelmsen blew a save in Cleveland earlier this season and gave up a one-out double to Michael Brantley . Carlos Santana grounded out, with Brantley advancing to third before Jason Giambi walked. Wilhelmsen got Lonnie Chisenhall to fly out to right for the final out.
"Offensively we've got to pick it up," Cleveland's Michael Bourn said. "Not press, but just be focused and take it from there."
Harang fell behind early when Swisher homered, but found a groove later. Harang retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced. He threw only 11 pitches total in the sixth and seventh innings combined. He finished seven innings for the fourth time in 16 starts, allowed four hits and struck out two.
"You kind of want to match what the guy did the night before and that's how you get on good streaks. It's that competitiveness in the clubhouse, but we're also going out there trying to help our team win," Harang said. "All around the guys have been swinging well, the defense has been playing well and the pitching has been there. That's what it takes to get on streaks like this."
Notes: Seattle rookie SS Brad Miller was named the AL player of the week on Monday after hitting .385 with two homers and seven RBIs in Seattle's three-game sweep of Houston. He is the first Seattle rookie to be named player of the week since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989. ... Swisher was hitting in the No. 2 spot for the first time this season. He had hit in the No. 3 or No. 4 spot all season until Monday. ... Seattle RF Michael Saunders had a 10-game hitting streak snapped.