After struggling to hit home runs for most of the season, the Seattle Mariners are in the midst of a power surge.
They'll look to keep it going Friday night against the Cleveland Indians' Trevor Bauer, who fell victim to the long ball in his previous start.Seattle (42-37) had won eight of 10 prior to Wednesday's 5-4 loss to Boston as Hisashi Iwakuma was charged with all five runs in four-plus innings.However, Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager each homered for the second straight game, and the Mariners have hit 11 in their last six. They ranked 24th in baseball prior to that stretch with 55 home runs in their first 73 contests.Zunino has homered in four of his last five games, while Seager is 16 for 27 (.593) over his last seven home contests with 15 RBIs, though he's batting .267 on the year."He (Seager) knows what he's doing at the plate," manager Lloyd McClendon told MLB's official website. "But I probably expect a little bit more than you guys (the media). I think there's big room for improvement, and he's doing a nice job and he's swing the bat, he's hitting some home runs, he's driving in some runs, but I've been around the game a long time and Kyle Seager is not a .260 hitter."Bauer (2-3, 4.40 ERA) surrendered three home runs for the first time in his career Saturday, allowing four runs over 6 1/3 innings in 5-4, 10-inning loss to Detroit. He had yielded one homer in his four previous starts, spanning 24 1/3 innings."He made some mistakes and paid for them," manager Terry Francona said.Bauer has still yet to win a road start in his career, going 0-4 with a 7.53 ERA in seven games.Seattle will counter with Chris Young (6-4, 3.23), who has won four of his last five starts at Safeco Field and is 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA over his last six overall.Young retired the first 12 batters he faced at Kansas City on Saturday before yielding a solo shot for the only run against him in seven innings. He allowed three hits in a 2-1 win, but didn't get a decision.He threw two-hit ball over eight shutout innings to win his lone start against the Indians nearly nine years ago with Texas.Cleveland (38-40) has lost nine of 14 and snapped a four-game skid Wednesday with a 6-1 win at Arizona. Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes both homered, while Michael Bourn tripled twice."We didn't score in bunches, but scored one and then we scored two," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We kept after it. I thought we had good at-bats throughout the lineup."Brantley is batting .458 over his last 13 games with nine RBIs while Gomes is 11 for 27 during a seven-game hitting streak and 8 for 17 with three homers in his last four versus Seattle. Bourn, who is 8 for 23 in his last five games, is 3 for 7 off Young.Cleveland took five of seven meetings last year while averaging 5.9 runs per game.
Forty-five percent of Chris Young's pitches this season have been in the upper third of the strike zone or higher, six percentage points more than any other qualified pitcher. Michael Bourn is hitting .375 in at-bats ending with upper-third pitches, fourth highest among qualified hitters.