After surrendering their crown as baseball's hottest team with consecutive losses to the Twins over the weekend, the Mariners flew cross-country, albeit with a day's rest, to the East Coast to take on Boston on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Seattle got back on the right side of the scoresheet with a 6-4 triumph Sunday, looking more like the team that had an eight-game winning streak in town not even a week ago.
Boston was the last team to beat Seattle before that streak by taking the last three games in a set of four at Safeco Field, including a 10-inning victory that put Seattle 12 games below .500.
The Mariners are just five games below that threshold, using one of baseball's highest-scoring July offenses to secure third place in the American League West.
Seattle starter Joe Saunders was on the mound when the Indians ended the team's eight-game run last week. Cleveland smoked him for nine hits and five earned runs over 4 2/3 innings, saddling him with a loss that also ended his personal four-game winning streak.
"I felt good; I felt like I made some good pitches," Saunders said after that game. "They put some good swings on some good pitches. I tried to keep the team in there as long as I could. I felt like I was around the plate. We just got flat out outplayed, out-pitched, out-hit. It was just one of those days."
In the other dugout, Boston is a half-game back of Tampa Bay in the AL East after a tough 2-1 loss to the Rays on Monday.
Boston's Tuesday starter, Brandon Workman, has some good memories attached to the Mariners, despite a poor outing against Seattle on July 10.
Boston won the game, 11-4, in Workman's first career Major League appearance. The 24-year-old made his starting debut four days later against Oakland, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
He was the second pitcher that weekend to accomplish that feat in his inaugural outing, with the Astros' Jarred Cosart doing so two days prior against the Rays.
In his most recent outing, Workman's first Fenway start was a success despite running into Matt Moore's buzzsaw of a shutout, as Workman spread seven hits and two walks over seven innings of two-run ball against the Rays.
"I feel comfortable out on the mound," Workman said. "I feel like I've settled in. I'm throwing the ball pretty well, for the most part. I don't really have any nerves or anything like that right now."
"We feel he's got very good strike-throwing ability," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We're confident that he'll come out prepared [Tuesday]."
Mariners: Recovering Wedge visits with team
Before the Mariners' series finale with Minnesota on Sunday, skipper Eric Wedge privately met with the team for the first time since having a mild stroke before Monday's game. Bench coach Robby Thompson has been filling in for Wedge while the manager recovered in the hospital and then at home.
"It was great; they saw him, he's doing well," Thompson said. "Walking good, talking, I mean the whole thing. Big smile on his face, probably be tough for him to leave right now and head back home, as we all know he'd love to stay here."
The Mariners do not have a timetable for Wedge's return, and he will stay in Seattle during the team's six-game road trip. The earliest he could rejoin the team is Aug. 5 against the Blue Jays.
Red Sox: Former slugger Scott dies
George "Boomer" Scott, an eight-time Gold Glove first baseman for the Red Sox and Brewers in the late 1960s through the '70s, died Sunday in Greenville, Miss.
A right-handed power hitter with a large frame that exceeded 200 pounds, Scott was a member of Boston's "Impossible Dream" team that went to the World Series in 1967.
"I never met him personally. I know he was here for a very special year at the beginning of his career in '67," Farrell said. "I think any time that you're a member of a team's Hall of Fame speaks volumes for the type of players and production he had on the field. The baseball world lost a very good player."
Scott hit 154 of his 271 career home runs while with Boston and was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2006.
• With Kyle Seager leading the Majors in July batting average, he got a promotion to third in the lineup from fifth, swapping places with Raul Ibanez.
"Flipped them around a little bit," Thompson said. "Seager's been hot, he's swinging the bat. Raul's struggling a little bit as of late; we'll just drop him back."
• With last Thursday's rainout and Monday's makeup contest, Boston does not have another day off until Aug. 12.