Mariners-White Sox Preview
By KATE HEDLIN
(AP) -- The Chicago White Sox held the Seattle Mariners to seven runs over a three-game series in April, highlighted by Philip Humber's perfect game.
However, the streaking White Sox could have a much tougher time this weekend holding down a Mariners team which broke out offensively its last two games.
Chicago goes for its ninth straight victory Friday night in the opener of a three-game home series against Seattle.
The White Sox (29-22) have won 12 of 13 and enjoying their longest winning streak since an 11-game run June 15-26, 2010. However, defeating the Mariners may not be as easy this time around.
Seattle (23-30) has the second-lowest batting average in the AL at .234, but is coming off an impressive offensive display on the road against AL-leading Texas - scoring 31 runs in winning its last two games.
The Mariners scored eight runs in the second and eight in the third of Wednesday's 21-8 rout. Justin Smoak homered twice and drove in six runs, Jesus Montero had four RBIs and Dustin Ackley added three.
It was the second-most runs in club history, equaling a 21-9 win over the Los Angeles Angels in 2000.
"We were hitting with a lot of confidence up there tonight," said Kyle Seager, who had four hits and two RBIs. "Hitting is contagious."
The Mariners haven't had three consecutive double-digit run totals since 2000 and doing so against the White Sox seems unlikely after Chicago limited Tampa Bay to six runs in a three-game sweep this week.
The White Sox closed the series with a 4-3 win Wednesday despite losing starter Jose Quintana in the fourth inning after he was ejected for throwing behind Ben Zobrist.
Dayan Viciedo had three hits and Alexei Ramirez drove in two runs.
"Usually the mentality is to kind of win the series, two out of three, stuff like that," said Robin Ventura, who was ejected for the first time as a manager. "When a team gets the feeling that we have, you feel like you have it within your grasp."
Viciedo will try to keep things going at home, where Chicago looks to improve to .500. He has raised his batting average 95 points to .291 over the last 16 games and is 13 for 32 with four homers and 15 RBIs in his last eight at home.
In a matchup of former Cy Young Award winners, Jake Peavy (6-1, 3.07 ERA), who won the award in 2007 with San Diego, will face off against 2010 winner Felix Hernandez (4-4, 3.17).
Peavy has won three straight decisions. He gave up a season-high seven runs and surrendered two homers in 6 1-3 innings of a 14-7 win over Cleveland on Saturday.
It was the second time in three starts Peavy allowed at least six runs. Before that stretch began, he had a 1.89 ERA.
The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.12 ERA against Seattle, allowing two runs while striking out eight in six innings of a 4-2 victory last August.
Hernandez has also had a rocky few weeks, going 1-3 with a 5.92 ERA over his last four starts. He allowed five runs and gave up two homers in six innings of a 5-3 loss to Los Angeles.
The right-hander is 3-4 with a 3.28 ERA in his career against the White Sox, with all four losses coming in Chicago, where he has a 4.42 ERA.
The White Sox have won six straight over the Mariners.
Updated May 31, 2012