Right hander Samuel Deduno will take aim at another successful start when the Twins visit the Mariners and veteran right-hander Aaron Harang in the third game of a four-game set at Safeco Field on Saturday afternoon.
The 30-year-old Deduno gave up two runs on just four hits and five walks over seven innings on Monday against the Angels to pick up his sixth win of the year. The Dominican native also turned in his seventh quality start in 11 outings.
Deduno has yet to face the Mariners this season and is 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA in seven starts on the road this year.
His counterpart Harang allowed just one run over seven innings against the Indians while picking up his fifth win of the season in his previous outing. He has turned out a quality start in three of his last four outings.
The 35-year-old Harang is 4-4 with a 4.55 ERA in ten starts at Safeco Field this season. He earned a no-decision in a 5-4 loss against Minnesota on June 1 when he went gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out four over six innings.
Both clubs will be looking for their starters to go deep and give their respective bullpens a rest after Minnesota topped Seattle, 3-2, on Friday in 13 innings. The Twins used five relievers over 6 1/3 innings, while the Mariners bullpen used four over the game's final four innings after getting nine stellar frames from ace Felix Hernandez.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire called Friday's game, "A nice win on a night when you're facing that guy [Hernandez], you know that runs are going to be at a premium."
Twins: Offense looks to build off momentum
After being shut out until the ninth inning on Friday against Hernandez, the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner, Trevor Plouffe's bat finally broke through to get the Twins on the board and rookie Chris Colabello's two-run homer in the 13th inning gave the club a 3-2 victory. Manager Ron Gardenhire was pleased with the club's patience and perseverance at the plate as Minnesota will now look to make it a 6-3 record since the All-Star break on Saturday.
"Mr. Hernandez was as-advertised, really tough to find a way to squeak out a run against him," Gardenhire said after Friday's game. "He's unbelievable, he's just so dominant. You know what, our boys kept battling and we finally got in a situation and got a man out there and got a big hit to tie it up and it kind of went from there."
Mariners: Backstops aim to step up
With rookie catcher Mike Zunino placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken hamate bone in his left hand on Friday, the Mariners will hope to get production from veterans Henry Blanco and Humberto Quintero over the next five to six weeks while Zunino recovers.
"We're going to lean on [Blanco] quite a bit from here on out," acting manager Robby Thompson said on Friday. "It's too bad because the reason why Hank is here was to mentor Mike and he's done a great job with him. He works with him all the time. He pulls for him every day. Mike is going to miss out on that for these 4-5 weeks, but I'm sure when he's out here, Henry will continue his tutelage with him."
The 41-year-old Blanco went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts in Friday's loss. The 33-year-old Quintero, 33, who was designated for assignment by the Phillies earlier this week became a free agent Friday and arrived at Safeco Field just prior to Friday night's game. He hit .250 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 24 games this season with Philadelphia.
• Both teams will also look to build off recent success. Seattle is 8-2 in their last ten games, while Minnesota is 7-3.
• Trevor Plouffe connected on first career pinch-hit with his ninth inning RBI single on Friday after previously going 0-for-11.
Matt Weber is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.