Washburn sets sights on series win

Washburn to start in Sunday's rubber game

On Saturday, the Mariners had their game clicking on all cylinders. On Sunday, they will try to continue the momentum against one of the most exciting rookies in baseball.

What will make facing Jon Lester even more difficult for Seattle will be that the lefty grew up in nearby Tacoma. He is expecting around 50 friends and family members to be in the crowd that has already felt pro-Red Sox at times during the first two games of the weekend series.

Countering Lester will be Jarrod Washburn, who, though he has pitched reasonably well in his last few starts, has only losses and no-decisions to show for his efforts.

Still, following Saturday's win, the vibe in the Mariners' clubhouse seemed very optimistic. The players appeared to have a newfound sense of purpose.

"Right now, guys know what they have to do," said Eduardo Perez. "We can't look at the scoreboard and see what other teams are doing. We have to play our game. There's a lot of baseball left, and a lot of things can happen."

It's possible that Perez could get a second consecutive start on Sunday, seeing as how he was acquired to bat against left-handed pitchers, and Lester is a lefty.

Pitching matchup
SEA: LHP Jarrod Washburn (4-10, 4.41)
Washburn will be looking to pick up his first win since June 9 on Sunday. In each of his last three starts, he has allowed fewer than three earned runs, but the breaks just don't seem to be going his way. In his last start, a three-run error allowed the Yankees to beat him, 4-2.

BOS: LHP Jon Lester (5-0, 2.38)
Lester will make his triumphant return to Seattle with a perfect record and a miniscule ERA. The lefty attended high school at Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep. In his last start, Lester threw eight shutout innings to beat the Royals. In fact, he hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his eight Major League starts.

Player to watch
All-Star second baseman Jose Lopez is expected to be back with the team on Sunday, after missing the past two games while taking care of personal business in his home country of Venezuela. Since the All-Star break, Lopez is 5-for-20 with three runs scored.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• KOMO 1000-AM, KTFH 1680-AM (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Blue Jays (RHP Casey Janssen, 6-9, 4.77) at Mariners (RHP Joel Pineiro, 6-8, 5.79), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: Blue Jays (RHP Roy Halladay, 12-2, 3.08) at Mariners (RHP Gil Meche, 9-4, 3.83), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Blue Jays (A.J. Burnett, 2-3, 4.17) at Mariners (LHP Jamie Moyer, 5-9, 4.10), 7:05 p.m. PT

C.J. Bowles is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.