After watching their longest winning streak of the season come to an end, the Seattle Mariners will try to bounce back against the Minnesota Twins.
Both teams could again be missing important pieces in Thursday night's series opener.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge remains out and Twins All-Star Joe Mauer is uncertain to be available when these clubs play the first of four at Safeco Field.
Seattle (48-53) had posted eight consecutive victories by a 50-24 margin before managing two singles in Wednesday's 10-1 loss to Cleveland.
"We just flat out got outplayed, outpitched, outhit," losing pitcher Joe Saunders said. "Just one of those days."
The Mariners will again have to get by without Wedge, who suffered what doctors believe was a very mild stroke Monday. He is expected to miss this series as well as an upcoming six-game road trip.
"What he needs to do is stay home for a short period of time. We expect him to be back sooner than later," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "He's excited. He sounds normal. I talked to him and it sounds like everything is fine and he is ready to roll.
"We are going to err on the side of caution, and I think the common sense thing is to have Eric rest. It makes sense that he doesn't take this trip to the East Coast."
The Twins (43-55) could be without Mauer, who was placed on the paternity list Wednesday as his wife gave birth to twin girls earlier in the day. Mauer needs to return by Saturday in order to avoid being placed on the restricted list.
"I'm assuming Joe will want to join as soon as he can," assistant general manager Rob Antony said.
Minnesota had won six of seven, including a season-high four straight on the road, before failing to get anything going Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Doug Bernier and Aaron Hicks singled for the clubs' two hits.
The Twins could have a hard time regrouping against Hisashi Iwakuma (9-4, 2.99 ERA), who leads the AL with a 5.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The right-hander is looking to win a season high-tying third consecutive start after yielding two runs in seven innings Saturday in a 4-2 victory at Houston.
"I was able to stay within myself and made pitches when I needed to," he said through a translator.
Iwakuma has been sensational in winning each of his three career starts against Minnesota, allowing two unearned runs in 20 2-3 innings. He gave up seven hits in 7 2-3 innings in a 3-0 road win May 31. Ryan Doumit is 0 for 8 with five strikeouts in their matchups, and Justin Morneau is 1 for 8.
The Twins give the ball to Kevin Correia (7-6, 4.17), who yielded two runs and three hits in six innings Saturday in a 3-2 win over Cleveland.
"I feel like I've been 6-6 for two months," Correia said after earning his first victory since June 19.
Correia is 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in three career starts against Seattle. He surrendered four runs and a season high-tying three homers - two to Jason Bay - in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-4 walkoff win for Minnesota on June 1.
Correia will also need to be careful against Raul Ibanez, who is 5 for 10 with a homer and two doubles in their matchups. Ibanez, mired in a 3-for-18 funk, could be back in the lineup after getting Wednesday off.
The Associated Press News Service
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