The Seattle Mariners have been able to push some runs across the plate, but their starters have been struggling.
It's been just the opposite for the Milwaukee Brewers , who visit Seattle for the first time in 16 years Friday night.
The Mariners (53-61) open this three-game interleague series after dropping two of three to Toronto. Seattle totaled three runs in back-to-back losses before rallying from five down Wednesday in a 9-7 victory.
Humberto Quintero 's two-run homer was the big blow in a six-run fifth inning as the Mariners posted their largest comeback win since April 11, 2011.
"We got kind of shut down the last couple games, but overall, we've been swinging the bats really well one through nine," outfielder Michael Saunders told the Mariners' official website.
Seattle is batting .273 with 4.6 runs per game in its last 13. Saunders has four homers and 10 RBIs during that stretch, while Kendrys Morales is hitting .436 with two home runs and seven RBIs.
The Mariners' bullpen has yielded one earned run in 18 2-3 innings over the last five games, but their starters have a 7.18 ERA in the past six.
"Our job as a pitching staff is to keep us in the game, regardless of whether we have a lead, we're behind, whatever it is, our job is to keep the score as low as possible," Friday's pitcher Joe Saunders said.
Saunders (10-10, 4.58 ERA) avoided a third straight losing start Sunday by throwing six innings of two-run ball in a 3-2 win at Baltimore. The left-hander last faced the Brewers in 2011 while with Arizona.
The last six games between these teams have been in Milwaukee, with the Brewers winning four times. They are making their first visit to Seattle since Aug. 11-12, 1997.
Milwaukee (49-66) will be without second baseman Rickie Weeks , who is headed to the disabled list with a strained left hamstring suffered in Wednesday's 6-1 win at San Francisco.
"It's too bad," manager Ron Roenicke said. "... It seems like there's something that always comes up."
The injury-plagued Brewers, though, could have third baseman Aramis Ramirez (sprained left knee) back soon. Milwaukee needs all the help it can get after hitting .198 and scoring 12 runs in splitting four games with the Giants.
"(Ramirez) feels like he's ready to go," Roenicke said. "Whether that's (Friday), whether that's Tuesday (at Texas), whether that's Saturday or Sunday, I don't know. But he's ready to go."
So is Kyle Lohse (7-7, 3.23), who takes the mound after Milwaukee's starters posted a 2.01 ERA in the previous series.
Lohse is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his last four outings - all Milwaukee wins - but he struggled in Sunday's 8-5 victory over Washington, needing 93 pitches to get through five innings of three-run ball.
The right-hander permitted a career high-tying eight earned runs in his last start in Seattle, a 9-1 loss for Cincinnati on June 23, 2007.
|August 08, 2013||Rickie Weeks||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|August 02, 2013||Tom Gorzelanny||Day-to-Day||Left elbow contusion|
|July 31, 2013||Yovani Gallardo||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 30, 2013||Yovani Gallardo||Day-to-Day||Left hamstring tightness|
|July 27, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Right forearm tightness|
|July 23, 2013||Donovan Hand||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|July 26, 2013||Mike Zunino||15-Day DL||Fractured left hamate bone|
|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|
SEATTLE (AP) -- Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke has always believed it's a good idea to put in the lineup a player returning to where he once played.
Yuniesky Betancourt proved his belief right again on Friday night.
Betancourt highlighted Milwaukee's five-run fifth inning with his second grand slam of the season, and the Brewers beat the Seattle Mariners 10-5.
"I think it's good. I think it makes a difference," Roenicke said. "I think the adrenaline there is different."
Once the Mariners starting shortstop, Betancourt came back to haunt his former club as the teams opened a three-game series. Betancourt's slam was his 13th homer of the season and he enjoyed every second of going deep against his former team. Betancourt drove the pitch from Joe Saunders out to left, walking and watching as he left the batter's box, then flipped his bat before excitedly running the bases. It was his sixth career grand slam.
"I feel a little more excited," Betancourt said of his return to Seattle. "I have good memories of here, for the people here."
Norichika Aoki also drove in three runs as the Brewers scored 10 runs for the first time since June 12.
While the Brewers were knocking around Seattle's pitchers, Kyle Lohse was putting in another strong performance. Lohse (8-7) won for the seventh time in his last eight decisions, holding the Mariners to three runs in seven innings. Kyle Seager had a two-run single in the third for Seattle, but Lohse pitched out of trouble in the third, fifth and seventh innings. Lohse has lost just once since May 30.
The Mariners big weekend honoring former star Ken Griffey Jr. with his induction into the team's Hall of Fame got off to an ugly start thanks to another sloppy defensive effort and Saunders' struggle pitching out of jams. Seattle committed three errors while Saunders was on the mound, and five of the nine runs Milwaukee scored against him were unearned.
"I don't think Joe threw the ball that bad," acting Seattle manager Robby Thompson said. "He got the ground balls and then we didn't make the plays behind him."
But Saunders (10-11) caused his own trouble the led to Betancourt's slam. Jean Segura led off the fifth with a single and Saunders issued consecutive walks to Carlos Gomez and Khris Davis to load the bases for Betancourt. Saunders then hung a 1-1 slider in the middle of the strike zone and Betancourt didn't miss. It was his second home run in 18 career games against the Mariners. Betancourt spent parts of five seasons playing in Seattle.
"I know he goes into a funk sometimes offensively, but defensively he moves around, he plays all the positions really well. He's a utility man and that's what we asked him to come here and do and he's played a lot more than we thought," Roenicke said.
Betancourt wasn't the only one battering Seattle pitching. Aoki had a two-run double in the third inning and added an RBI single to cap the Brewers' big fifth inning. Martin Maldonado also had a two-run double with two outs in the fourth inning.
Lohse said teammates were giving him a hard time that his bat being out of the lineup was the reason for the 10-run outburst.
"It's been a while since we scored that many early," Lohse said. "It was kind of nice for myself to relax a little bit out there on the mound."
Roenicke wasn't around to see Betancourt's slam after getting ejected by home plate umpire Dan Bellino in the fourth inning. Betancourt's one-out grounder bounced off Seager's glove for his second error of the night and rolled into foul territory down the left-field line. Gomez scored from first on the play, but Thompson claimed a fan touched the ball.
The umpires met and agreed with Thompson, sending Gomez back to third base. That brought out Roenicke, who argued that Gomez should still have been awarded home plate. After a few minutes, Roenicke was ejected, the second time this year Roenicke has been tossed.
The argument became moot as Jeff Bianchi followed with a bloop single to score Gomez and give the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
"I stayed out too long. I should have been kicked out," Roenicke said. "I just told him he took the easy road out. ... I stayed out there too long because I really felt I was right."
Notes: Justin Smoak hit his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot, in the eighth inning for Seattle. ... Griffey took part in a luncheon and met with the media on Friday. He'll be formally inducted to the team Hall of Fame on Saturday. ... Milwaukee 2B Rickie Weeks will miss the rest of the season after an MRI revealed a torn left hamstring. Weeks was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. ... Friday was Milwaukee's first game in Seattle since 1997.