The Seattle Mariners are still having trouble scoring at Safeco Field, but two of their starting pitchers have made sure the Kansas City Royals could say the same over the past three days.
Roenis Elias will try to give Seattle another gem from a starter in Sunday's series finale as he looks to lead the Mariners to a fifth straight series victory.Seattle's 2.93 runs per game at home are the fewest in the majors, and it's only totaled five runs and 14 hits in the first three games of this series.But thanks to a pair of outstanding starts, it's won twice. Hisashi Iwakuma tossed eight innings in Thursday's 1-0 victory and Chris Young held the Royals (17-19) to three hits over eight in a 3-1 win Saturday.Those outings have put the Mariners (19-17) in position to win another series and improve to 13-4 since April 23, which they'll attempt to do behind Elias (3-2, 3.27 ERA).The rookie left-hander has been sharp in his first two starts in May, both of which came on the road. He held the Yankees to one earned run over seven innings May 1 in a 4-2 win -- striking out 10 -- and limited Oakland to three runs over 6 1/3 Tuesday in an 8-3 victory."I always have confidence in my pitches," Elias told the team's official website. "I work hard on that and attacking the strike zone and mixing it up."Elias is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in a pair of home outings.He'll face a Royals team that has 24 hits in Seattle since Thursday, only one of which has gone for extra bases -- Mike Moustakas' triple Saturday.Kansas City will hand the ball to Jeremy Guthrie (2-2, 3.91), who is hoping for his first victory since April 9 as he makes his second straight start in a park friendly to pitchers. The right-hander lasted a season-high eight innings Tuesday in San Diego and held the Padres to a solo homer and three other hits before the Royals won 3-1 in 11."He threw strikes, changed speeds and kept the ball down," manager Ned Yost said.Seattle hasn't been much of a favorable matchup for Guthrie recently, however. He's 0-2 with an 8.83 ERA in three starts versus the Mariners since 2012 -- two with the Royals, one with the Rockies -- and has allowed six homers in 17 1/3 innings.Justin Smoak, who hit a two-run homer Saturday, is 3 for 6 with a pair of home runs in that stretch. Dustin Ackley, who hit a solo shot Saturday, is 4 for 8 with three doubles.Guthrie may face James Jones for the first time after the rookie center fielder batted in the leadoff spot Saturday for the first time. Jones went 1 for 2 with two walks, and he hit .306 in that spot in the minors.Jones is 6 for 13 over his first eight games in the majors.