(Sports Network) -- The Seattle Mariners will attempt to build off an impressive pitching performance when the American League West cellar-dwellers take on the Cleveland Indians tonight in the continuation of a four-game series between last-place teams.
After dropping a 6-3 decision to the Tribe on Thursday, the Mariners bounced back with a hard-earned 1-0 victory last night as Luke French combined with a pair of relievers on a three-hit shutout.
French (4-4) carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished out the frame having yielded only a single hit along with three walks and striking out four batters. Shelley Duncan foiled the lefty's no-hit bit with a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh.
"It was one of those nights where I was hitting my spots more often than not, to be able to slow them down with the changeup, mix in a few sliders here and there," said French. "Turned out pretty good."
Closer David Aarsdma did run into some trouble in the ninth, letting up a pair of one-out singles before gettingShin-Soo Choo to pop up. The hard-throwing reliever then allowed both runners to advance on a wild pitch, but fanned Duncan for the final out to notch his 27th save.
The game's only run came during the first inning, when Ichiro Suzuki led off with a single and later scored on a base hit off the bat of Franklin Gutierrez.
Indians starter Fausto Carmona (11-14) didn't give up much afterward, surrendering just two more hits and striking out six batters in an eight- inning complete game.
Seattle, which had lost three of four prior to last night's verdict, will hand the ball to David Pauley in hopes of receiving a second straight quality start. The former Red Sox farmhand came through in an August 13 matchup against the Indians, permitting just two runs and scattering seven hits over six innings to register his first career victory in the majors.
Pauley followed up that result with a road win at Baltimore five days later, but has lost back-to-back starts since to fall to 2-6 on the season. The right-hander was reached for four runs in 5 2/3 innings in an August 25 setback at Boston, then served up three homers and four runs overall in a six- inning stint against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this past Monday.
The 27-year-old is still in search of his first win at Safeco Field, where he's gone 0-4 with a 3.34 ERA in seven appearances (five starts) this year.
Mitch Talbot gets the call for Cleveland tonight and will be trying to end a long and frustrating winless streak. The rookie hurler is 0-5 with a subpar 6.23 ERA in nine starts since his last triumph, a June 27 besting of Cincinnati.
Talbot was hit hard in Monday's assignment against the Chicago White Sox, which tagged him for five runs and 10 hits in a five-inning no-decision. The right-hander allowed six runs in six innings during his previous start, a home loss to Oakland on August 25.
The 26-year-old, who had won eight of his first 14 decisions to begin his debut campaign with the Indians, also struggled in an August 14 encounter with the Mariners at Progressive Field. In that game Talbot was hammered for six runs (four earned) on eight hits in just four innings as the losing pitcher in a 9-3 outcome.
Seattle has now prevailed three of five meetings between these teams this season, but the Indians had won six in a row from the Mariners at Safeco Field prior to last night's defeat.