(SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Young will try to extend his own personal winning streak and push his Seattle Mariners over the .500 mark on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins.
Young, a late addition to Seattle's rotation after not signing with the club until late March, has pitched to a 1.83 earned run average over a three-start winning streak. That has given the righty his first Major League victories since September, 2012.
Young is coming off his longest outing of the season as he held the Kansas City Royals to a run on three hits over eight innings of a 3-1 victory on Saturday. He also did not walk a batter in improving to 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA on the season.
"I felt good," Young said. "The command was where it needed to be."
Set to turn 35 on May 25, Young will face the Twins for the first time since 2005 and has failed to record a decision against them in four previous encounters despite a solid 2.41 ERA.
Though Seattle is coming off a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, held to just two hits in the contest, it enters the contest at 20-20 on the season. The Mariners are at .500 or better through 40 games in the season for the first time since they were 25-15 in 2003.
The Mariners have done so by avoiding a big losing streak over the past month. They have lost two in a row for the first time since an eight-game slide from April 15-22, going 13-7 overall since that slide.
The Twins, meanwhile, are a game under .500 at 19-20 after a walk-off 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. Aaron Hicks hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th frame, improving Minnesota to 6-0 in rubber matches this season.
"To be able to come up clutch for my team like that, it definitely feels good," said Hicks after the Twins won for the fourth time in their past six games.
Minnesota will hope that right-hander Kyle Gibson can rebound tonight as he is winless in his past four starts since beginning the season 3-0.
It has been a big fall back to Earth for the 26-year-old, who yielded just two runs over his season-opening winning streak but has been tagged for 18 runs in four starts since.
Gibson dropped his third straight decision on Saturday as he lasted only two innings versus Detroit while getting charged with six runs on seven hits and a walk. The outing dropped him to 3-3 with a 4.74 ERA.
"I was happy with how all my pitches were moving, but leaving them over the middle and picking on the edges too much early in the count are two things that didn't help me," Gibson lamented. "(You) can't live in the middle against anybody."
Gibson has faced the Mariners once before during his young career and took a loss last July, giving up five runs over five innings.
After losing eight of 10 to the Mariners in 2012, the Twins took four of the seven encounters last year.