MLB Game Preview - Mariners v Twins

 
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Seattle0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 260
Minnesota5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 x 6110
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  W: J. Berríos (6-1)   L: A. Miranda (6-3)
10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, June 15, 2017
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 24,464

Mariners look for fifth win vs. Twins this month

According to STATS
According to STATS

Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins

  1. The Mariners won two of three against the Twins last week, their second straight series win against Minnesota dating back to last season. This is the first time Seattle has won back-to-back series against the Twins since winning five straight between 2011 and 2012.
  2. Seattle was shut out at home Sunday, 4-0, against Toronto. The Mariners have been shut out six times this year, tied for most in the AL with the Royals. The M's were shut out just six times in all of 2016 (tied for fewest in the AL).
  3. Minnesota lost Sunday, 13-8, at San Francisco, but still owns MLB's second-best road record (20-9). The Twins are one of just three teams with a road record over .500 and a home record under .500 (also Milwaukee and Cleveland).
  4. Miguel Sano leads the Twins with 46 RBI this season, which is 17.7 percent of all the RBI from Minnesota hitters in 2017. That is the highest percent of a team's total RBI by one player in the AL this year.
  5. Adalberto Mejia has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his seven starts this season. The only AL pitcher with a longer active streak of starts allowing three or fewer runs is Yu Darvish (nine).
  6. Yovani Gallardo allowed five runs in seven innings against the Twins during his last start. His 6.26 ERA is the highest by a Mariners pitcher through 12 starts of a season since Horacio Ramirez in 2007 (6.68).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 6/12/2017 thru 6/15/2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- One measure of a pitcher's ability is how effective he can be without his best stuff.

Both starters in Thursday afternoon's series finale between the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners struggled with command issues in their most recent starts, but each is seeking to pad an impressive record in the matinee.

The Mariners have taken two of the first three games at Target Field this week after taking two of three from Minnesota last week in Seattle.

The Mariners' hard-throwing left-hander, Ariel Miranda (6-2, 3.67 ERA), started strong in his last outing against Toronto on Saturday at Safeco Field and allowed just two runs on two hits in Seattle's 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

But, in his first start following his first career complete game, Miranda walked five in 6 1/3 innings and surrendered a two-run home run by Kendrys Morales.

"Miranda was not as sharp as last time out," Seattle manager Scott Servais said.

But Miranda is 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his last six starts as he prepares to make just his second career start against Minnesota.

It will not be an easy task for Miranda, who will be facing a Minnesota batting order capable of scoring runs in bunches -- 28 in this series alone.

In his previous appearance against the Twins, at Target Field on Sept. 24, 2016, Miranda was pulled after just four innings and 52 pitches. He gave up three runs on three hits, including solo homers by Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano, in suffering a 3-2 loss.

Twins right hander Jose Berrios (5-1, 2.84 ERA) walked three and hit a batter through 5 1/3 workmanlike innings against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, but he allowed just two runs and struck out eight in Minnesota's 3-2 win.

"Jose is not always going to be perfect with his stuff, but it plays," Molitor told MLB.com. "He was in a lot of trouble (Saturday), but he was able to dance around it and minimize."

Berrios has tossed six or more innings in four of his six starts since his recall from Triple-A Rochester last month and is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in two Target Field starts this season.

Thursday marks the first career start against Seattle for Berrios. Of the Seattle batters, only Jarrod Dyson (2-for-6, two RBIs, two walks) has faced Berrios.

Berrios will have to deal with a potent Seattle lineup that has posted 27 runs through the first three games of this series, including a 6-4 win over Twins ace Ervin Santana on Wednesday.

"Ervin Santana has been one of the hottest pitchers in the league," Servais said. "So we really grinded at-bats. I think he was close to 50 pitches after two innings, and our guys just didn't let up."

Leadoff hitter Ben Gamel and Robinson Cano each had three hits, and Mitch Haniger and Mike Zunino each homered.

"They do have a good-hitting team and they've got a couple of big names in the middle. But some of those other players are pretty good," Molitor said. "Gamel's giving us a lot of trouble. He's done a nice job as a table-setter for those guys, and we can't seem to get him out in the first inning."

Zunino has six home runs this season, with four of them coming in five games over the last week against the Twins.

"I'm still doing stuff and making tweaks, going to the cage after even days that are good to fine-tune stuff," Zunino said. "It's something that I still only started a month and a half ago, so I'm still trying to fine-tune everything and keep everything ironed out, and hopefully continue to get ahead."

Updated June 15, 2017

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