Indians-Mariners Preview

With Kyle Seager engaged in a torrid stretch at the plate, the Seattle Mariners should be feeling confident about extending their winning ways with Roenis Elias taking the mound.

The rookie left-hander hopes to add to his best month of the season while leading the Mariners to their seventh victory in eight games Saturday night against the Cleveland Indians.

Seager has pounded out three hits in three of his last four contests after going 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI in Friday’s 3-2 series-opening win at Safeco Field. He’s 11 for 17 with two homers, three doubles and eight RBIs in those games.

The third baseman is also 19 for 31 with three home runs and 16 RBIs over his last eight at home. He has an AL-best 38 RBIs at home and his 11 homers there are behind only Edwin Encarnacion’s 14 in Toronto.

Seager has been particularly tough on Cleveland (38-41) with a .395 career average that’s his highest against any AL opponent.

”He’s getting better,” manager Lloyd McClendon said with a smirk.

Michael Saunders made an immediate impact with two hits in his first game off the disabled list after missing 15 with a shoulder injury. Endy Chavez even contributed to the team’s recent power surge with his first home run since May 30, 2013, at San Diego.

”How about Endy?” McClendon said. ”That was a pretty good swing.”

The Mariners (43-37) have averaged 5.4 runs and hit .300 with 12 homers over their last seven games. They’ll try to continue that production for Elias (7-5, 3.74 ERA), who looks to win a season-best third consecutive start.

Since allowing a season-worst six earned runs over 3 1-3 innings in a 6-3 home loss to the New York Yankees on June 12, the 25-year-old Cuban has recovered by giving up just two runs over 13 2-3 innings to win his last two outings.

He has a 4-1 record with a 3.21 ERA in June after going 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA in April and 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA in May.

Now Elias will face a Cleveland team that had batted .277 while reaching double-digit hits in five straight before managing only seven Friday in its sixth loss in eight games.

Michael Bourn has been a bright spot for the Indians with two straight three-hit efforts and a .393 average over a six-game hitting streak, but Yan Gomes went 0 for 4 Friday to snap his seven-game run.

Jason Kipnis, who added a pair of doubles, is 7 for 16 with five extra-base hits in his last three contests.

Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin (4-5, 4.39) hopes to get back on track after posting a 7.80 ERA during three straight losing starts. He allowed a season-high eight runs – five earned – over four-plus innings in Sunday’s 10-4 home loss to Detroit.

The right-hander could have a difficult time keeping Seattle in the ballpark since he’s surrendered a team-high 10 home runs in 55 1-3 innings and has allowed at least one in nine of his 10 appearances.

Tomlin, though, has been sharp in three career starts at Safeco, going 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA.

Seager has four doubles in six career at-bats versus Tomlin, while Robinson Cano is 5 for 11 with a homer and four RBIs. Cano is a .336 lifetime hitter against the Indians, but he’s 2 for 25 in his last six meetings dating to his time with the Yankees.