A team meeting on Saturday led by manager John McLaren didn't immediately solve the Seattle Mariners' problems.
Now, McLaren can only hope a return home will do the trick.After losing the final five games of their road trip, the Mariners kick off a seven-game homestand on Monday with the first of four against the Texas Rangers -- their current company in the AL West cellar.Seattle (13-19) expected to contend for a playoff spot this season, after winning 88 games last year and acquiring starting pitchers Erik Bedard and Carlos Silva in the offseason.The Mariners, though, have never been more than one game above .500, and they've fallen well below that mark during their season-worst five-game losing streak. They've also lost nine of 11 overall and four of their last five at Safeco Field to fall into a last-place tie with the Rangers (13-19).Seattle was outscored 19-4 in a three-game sweep by the New York Yankees over the weekend. After Saturday's 6-1 loss, McLaren admonished his team in the clubhouse, but things were just as bad on Sunday, as Silva allowed all of New York's runs in an 8-2 defeat."The Yankees just did a number on us," McLaren said. "The positive thing is that we're getting off the road trip and out of New York. We need some good home cooking."They'll also need more production from their struggling lineup. The Mariners have totaled just six runs in their last four games, and are averaging 3.2 runs per game since April 18.Ichiro Suzuki has eight hits in his last four games, but the middle of the Mariners' lineup has struggled. Jose Vidro is 1-for-13 with no RBIs in the last four games, Raul Ibanez has just one RBI in his last eight and Richie Sexson was out of the lineup Sunday after going 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in the first two games in the Bronx."We need something to spark this ballclub," Vidro told the Mariners' official Web site. "On paper, we are OK, but on the field, we are not doing our jobs, and we cannot keep going this way."Left-hander Jarrod Washburn (1-4, 4.86 ERA) will do his best to help on Monday, although he is 0-3 in his last four starts. He's coming off his worst outing of the season, as he allowed six runs -- five earned -- and six hits in 4 1-3 innings of an 8-3 defeat at Cleveland on Wednesday.Washburn hasn't beaten the Rangers since 2005, dropping his last three decisions against them.He'll face Texas right-hander Kevin Millwood (2-2, 3.86), who has dropped his last three decisions versus Seattle, including a 5-2 defeat at Safeco Field on opening day in which he took the loss despite not allowing an earned run in six innings.The right-hander gave up five runs in six innings at Kansas City on Wednesday, but received nine runs of support and got credit for Texas' 11-9 win.Millwood will try to help the Rangers rebound from their first loss in five games. Texas had won four straight and six of eight before losing 3-1 at Oakland on Sunday."We would have loved to have swept," shortstop Michael Young told the Rangers' official Web site. "We would have loved to have gone to Seattle 3-0 on this trip. It didn't happen. We've got to take the positives out of this. ... We're playing good ball, we just have to continue what we were doing."Seattle took two of three from the Rangers to open the season -- its sixth straight home series win against Texas.