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Preview: White Sox at Mariners

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 09 2014 01:55:37 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 09 2014 01:55:37 AM CDT

The Seattle Mariners are playing like a team determined to secure their first playoff berth since 2001, while the Chicago White Sox postseason hopes are fading fast. The two teams continue their four-game series Saturday at Safeco Field with Seattle looking to match its longest winning streak of the season at five games. Second baseman Robinson Cano owns a 10-game hitting streak for the Mariners, who stand a half-game behind Kansas City for the American League's second wild card.Chicago could be without centerfielder Adam Eaton, who exited after his first at-bat in Saturday's 4-1 loss due to soreness in his rib cage. The White Sox have lost four straight and six of their last seven to drop 7 1/2 games behind the Royals in the wild card race, but right fielder Avisail Garcia (shoulder) could return in the next few weeks after completing a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. Chicago hasn't had many save opportunities lately, but manager Robin Ventura indicated that Jake Petricka will serve as his primary closer moving forward.TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago), ROOT (Seattle)PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (6-8, 4.97 ERA) vs. Mariners LH James Paxton (2-0, 2.76)Noesi bounced back from a shaky outing against Detroit by holding Texas to three runs (one earned) on four hits over seven innings on Monday. The 27-year-old, who was claimed off waivers from Texas in April, has won three of his last four decisions. Kendrys Morales has two homers in seven at-bats against Noesi, who is 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA in five career games (one start) against Seattle, including 6 2/3 scoreless innings on July 6.Paxton made a successful return from the disabled list last Saturday by limiting Baltimore to two runs over 4 1/3 innings in his first start since April 8. "I felt really strong," the 25-year-old told MLB.com. "Everything felt great. Now it's just a matter of tightening things up and going deep in the ballgame for our guys." Paxton is making his first career appearance against the White Sox after throwing 83 pitches in his first outing since missing three months due to a strained lat muscle.WALK-OFFS1. Seattle's Mike Zunino moved into a tie for the major league lead in home runs by a catcher with his 18th blast Friday.2. Chicago has been outscored 55-13 over its last six games.3. Mariners 1B Logan Morrison is batting 10-for-31 during his nine-game hitting streak.PREDICTION: Mariners 6, White Sox 4

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