Mariners hope to keep rolling

( – The Seattle Mariners are finally starting to resemble
the team that was picked by many to reach the postseason. The Mariners go
after a third straight win on Saturday when they continue their three-game
series with the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field.

Seattle won for the fourth time in six tries on Friday, as Felix Hernandez
fired the 10th shutout of his career to lead the Mariners to a 2-0 win.

Hernandez (3-0), who now has thrown 24 complete games in his career, scattered
five hits and struck out nine as he lowered his ERA to 1.61.

Nelson Cruz and Logan Morrison each belted solo homers for Seattle, which
despite being two games under .500 (7-9) is only two games back of first place
in the American League West.

Phil Hughes (0-4) went toe-to-toe with King Felix, tossing eight innings of
two-run ball and striking out nine in the loss.

“When he is on like that you just hope you can squeeze one across, but he’s
tough,” Hughes said of Hernandez.

The Twins have dropped three of their last four.

Heading to the hill for the Twins on Saturday will be righty Trevor May, who
picked up his first win of the season his last time out. May was terrific
against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, holding them a run and four hits over
six innings. He also struck out four without walking a batter and improved to
1-1 to go along with a 4.76 ERA.

“Trevor May was able to have a nice six innings against a predominantly left-
handed lineup,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “He didn’t use his spinning
pitches, but was able to use his changeup to be effective. He gave us an
opportunity and we were able to get some runs early and keep adding on.”

Seattle, meanwhile, will counter with lefty James Paxton, who has been a huge
disappointment for the Mariners. Paxton is 0-1 with an 8.40 ERA through three
starts and is coming off perhaps the worst outing of his young career.

Paxton was rocked by the Texas Rangers to the tune of seven runs and 10 hits
in just 2 2/3 innings. Amazingly, though, he did not get a decision, as his
offense exploded in a wild 11-10 win.

Minnesota took five of seven from the Mariners last season.