The Seattle Mariners couldn't completely cool off a red-hot opponent in the middle stop on their road trip. They'll get another crack a cooling off another surging club in the final series of their nine-game trek.
The Mariners have had little success in recent visits to Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels, who will seek their 11th win in 13 contests overall and their sixth in a row over Seattle on Monday night in manager Mike Scioscia's 2,000th game.
Seattle (24-32) ended the Chicago White Sox's nine-game winning streak Saturday, prevailing 10-8 in 12 innings at U.S. Cellular Field. The Mariners couldn't follow that effort up with another win Sunday as they blew an early two-run lead en route to a 4-2 defeat.
After totaling 45 runs and 57 hits during a 3-1 stretch, Seattle mustered five hits in the series finale against the White Sox. Jesus Montero registered two of those, and Miguel Olivo drove in the only runs on a second-inning homer that traveled an estimated 448 feet.
The Mariners have batted .127 and scored 10 runs over their last five games against the Angels (28-27) - all losses, four of them coming in a sweep at Safeco Field from May 24-27.
Seattle, however, will get to face the starter it had the most success against during that four-game set Monday. Ervin Santana (2-6, 4.78 ERA) gave up four runs and walked seven - one shy of his career high - in five innings while not getting a decision in the Angels' 6-4 win May 25.
The right-hander followed that start by allowing five runs over five innings of Wednesday's 6-5 home defeat to the New York Yankees. Once again, he avoided his first loss since May 4 but added two homers to his major league-worst 15 allowed this season.
While Santana is unbeaten in his last five outings, he hasn't earned a win in his last three. His first home start against the Mariners this season could help him end that drought, as he's 2-1 with a 2.02 ERA the last five times he's faced them in Anaheim.
The Angels have won 20 of 24 at home over Seattle.
On the other hand, Ichiro Suzuki is a .349 lifetime hitter against Santana, and his 29 hits in their matchups are the most Santana has allowed to any batter.
Los Angeles failed to complete a three-game sweep of AL West-leading Texas by losing 7-3 on Sunday, allowing four runs over the final two inning including a 484-foot homer to Nelson Cruz.
"Two out of three is not bad against a good team like Texas because they're the champs, so you've got to be happy with it," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said.
Seattle starter Jason Vargas (6-4, 3.45) will try to send Los Angeles to back-to-back defeats for the first time since a three-game skid May 19-21 by earning consecutive wins for the second time this season.
The left-hander has alternated wins and losses in his last five outings, and has given up exactly three runs while pitching between six and seven innings in each of his last three.
"Jason has been very consistent for us this year," manager Eric Wedge told the Mariners' official website. "He's just very even-keeled out there. He doesn't get excited. He stays in his delivery and makes pitches."
Vargas received four runs of support over 6 2-3 innings of a 10-3 win at Texas on Tuesday after being on the wrong end of a 3-0 loss to the Angels on May 24.
He is 1-4 over his last six matchups with Los Angeles, but has posted a 2.63 ERA in those games.