One of the most important questions the Mariners face is whether or not they can sustain the offensive outburst they enjoyed while on the road, including a 21-run explosion on May 30 in Texas. Seattle scored 10 runs or more three times on the road trip, and twice posted eight-run affairs.
Seattle has hit .193 at Safeco Field and .257 on the road so far, a fact manager Eric Wedge said should improve with his young club settling in. The Mariners have played 37 road games so far this season, the most in the Majors, and just 22 at home.
"We're not the same team now that we were at the beginning of the year. We're not the same team we were when we started this road trip," Wedge said. "When it comes to the home-road splits, you can't argue with it. They're real. Over time will that get a lot better? I'm sure they will, because I think we're a lot better."
Wedge's club will look to continue its run support behind Kevin Millwood, who is coming off a loss on Sunday in Chicago. Millwood allowed four earned runs over four innings, but a larger sample shows a pitcher who has surrendered just six earned runs over his last 31 innings (1.74 ERA). However, the 37-year-old has lasted just a combined nine innings over his last two starts.
"He's just been missing. And when Kevin misses, he misses the right way. He's just been a tad off and they've put up some good at-bats on him, but I'm still seeing the same stuff from the same guy," Wedge said.
Millwood will square off 22-year-old right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who is still in search for his first victory of the season. Eovaldi (0-2, 2.84 ERA) has pitched effectively in his first two outings, but like Millwood, will seek a longer outing after going 5 2/3 innings on Sunday in Colorado. Eovaldi went seven innings and gave up two earned runs with four strikeouts in his first start of the year on May 29.
Los Angeles enters the game riding a winning streak after sweeping a four-game series in Philadelphia for the first time in club history.
Dodgers: Abreu providing valuable boost
Matt Kemp has only played in two games since May 13 and will not play in another for weeks to come. In his absence, the Dodgers have needed others to step up and they're getting it from Bobby Abreu.
In 30 games since joining the Dodgers, Abreu is hitting .325 (26-for-78) with one home run, nine RBIs and 15 runs scored. He is hitting .298 on the season between his time with the Dodgers and Angels, but that number has improved from .244 on May 12.
Mariners: Seager providing thump
Kyle Seager ranks second among AL third baseman with 25 extra-base hits through 52 games this season, trailing only Miguel Cabrera's 29.
Seager, who has played 42 games at third base this season, has seven home runs, 17 doubles and one triple. He also ranks in the top five among AL third baseman in doubles, RBIs and slugging percentage. Friday will mark Seager's 53rd game of the season. He appeared in 53 games in 2011, hitting .258 with three home runs and 13 RBIs.
The Dodgers are currently in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days without an off-day.
Justin Smoak is hitting .294 (28-for-95) with seven home runs since May 11. His batting average has climbed from .173 to .229 during that stretch.