The Seattle Mariners recorded a lopsided victory in the middle game of their series with the Texas Rangers, but they've had trouble scoring consistently in recent weeks.
A matchup with Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison may not help them alter that trend.Harrison will seek to become the AL's second 12-game winner Sunday by adding to his recent dominance of the Mariners.Seattle is batting .187 with 39 runs scored over its last 16 games, but managed to beat Texas 7-0 on Saturday as John Jaso, Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager each drove in a pair of runs.The left-handed hitting Jaso is 1 for 21 against southpaws this season, but is nonetheless expected to get the chance to start again Sunday."He's a good hitter," manager Eric Wedge told the Mariners' official website. "He hasn't had much of an opportunity against lefties. But when you talk about the way he approaches the ball, I think it's safe to say he won't be sitting for all those games. You will see him play."Jaso and the Mariners (37-52) will try to end their recent pattern of letdowns after big offensive showings.They scored seven runs to defeat Oakland on July 7, but combined for three over their next two games. They scored six runs in a victory over Baltimore on July 2, then totaled seven during a three-game skid.Facing Harrison (11-4, 3.10 ERA) might not aid Seattle. The left-hander is 6-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his last six outings against the Mariners, and 8-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 career starts versus them."They are a team I've had success with in the past," Harrison told the Rangers' official website. "There is a lot of familiarity. I know what I want to do so it's a matter of executing my pitches."Harrison has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last six outings overall for the Rangers (53-35), but he had a seven-game win streak snapped in his final start before the All-Star break, a 2-1 loss at the Chicago White Sox on July 5. He pitched effectively in defeat, giving up two runs over eight innings to record his fifth career complete game and second this season."I want to carry over what I was doing from the first half, keep doing what I was doing and stay on a roll," Harrison said. "I just want to stay with the same mental focus I've had in the last eight or nine starts and continue to get better."The Mariners will counter with Hisashi Iwakuma (1-1, 4.84) , who had a solid performance in his first major league start July 2. The 31-year-old right-hander gave up a three-run homer and two other hits over five innings, but did not get a decision in a 6-3 win over Baltimore."I thought he did a really nice job," manager Eric Wedge said. "One bad pitch got him, but he settled down and kept pitching out of that. A lot of people asked what I expected out of him and I said just give us a chance to win the ballgame."Iwakuma will try to help Seattle take the lead in the season series against the Rangers, which is tied at six wins apiece.