Aaron Harang faces a difficult task against the top hitting team in baseball as he makes his debut for the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
The red-hot Detroit Tigers open a three-game series against Harang and the Mariners looking for their third straight win on their West Coast trip.Leadoff man Austin Jackson went 4 for 6 with a homer and three RBIs, while Torii Hunter had three hits in a 10-1 victory at Oakland on Sunday.The bottom half of the lineup also stepped up for Detroit (7-5), combining for five hits and three RBIs."We show you the left, then we sting with the right," said Hunter, batting .450 (18 for 40) during a nine-game hitting streak. "You look at Prince (Fielder), (Miguel) Cabrera and myself ... you kind of forget about our catfish, the bottom feeders."The Tigers lead the majors with a .307 batting average and have reached double-digit hits in six consecutive games, averaging 13.0 over that span.The Tigers will try to continue that production and end their recent struggles in this series. They've scored 41 runs with a .232 average while losing 10 of 13 against the Mariners.Seattle (6-8) salvaged a split of a four-game series against Texas on Sunday when Dustin Ackley drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and Brandon Maurer worked six strong innings in a 4-3 win.Now Harang makes his first start since being acquired from Colorado on Thursday. Seattle manager Eric Wedge moved the right-hander into the rotation following a 40-pitch bullpen session the following day."He's a veteran guy," Wedge said. "He knows what he needs to do to go out there and be successful. He has a great feel for himself. He's had a tremendous amount of success at the big league level."The 34-year-old Harang, who went 10-10 with a 3.61 ERA last season for the Dodgers, has given up one earned run and seven hits over 20 1/3 innings in three career starts at Safeco Field.He's 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in three starts against the Tigers, whom he last faced in 2006 while with Cincinnati.Fielder, batting .533 (16 for 30) with four homers and 18 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak, had his share of at-bats against Harang while both were in the NL Central. He's 14 for 44 (.318) with three homers and a double in their matchups.Cabrera and Victor Martinez haven't fared as well, going a combined 5 for 32 off Harang.The Tigers counter with former Mariner Doug Fister (2-0, 2.77), who looks for his third victory in as many starts. The right-hander limited Toronto to a run and eight hits over eight innings in an 11-1 victory Thursday.Fister, who is 11-4 with a 2.85 ERA in his last 18 regular-season starts, pitched seven shutout innings in a 3-2 loss at Safeco Field on May 7. It was his first appearance against the Mariners since they traded him to Detroit on July 30, 2011.The Mariners have scored 14 runs over their last five games but hope to get a boost with the possible returns of Franklin Gutierrez (leg tightness) and Michael Morse (finger) to the lineup. Morse ranks among the major league leaders with six home runs.