A six-game winning streak has boosted the Seattle Mariners' standing in the American League postseason hunt while bolstering the club's confidence.
"We've got some big goals for this team," Mariners left fielder Dominic Canzone said. "We're exactly where we want to be. With the pitching staff we have, we're in a good spot."
Surging Seattle will aim to stay hot Monday night as it opens a three-game series against the host Chicago White Sox.
The Mariners held on to defeat the defending World Series champion Houston Astros 7-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game road sweep. Canzone, a rookie, collected a career-best four hits and Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run homer.
Seattle moved within a half-game of the Astros for the second AL wild-card spot and now is just three games behind the West-leading Texas Rangers.
Winners of 31 of their past 44 games, the Mariners have been especially strong on the road, winning 19 of their last 24.
"We'll keep rolling," manager Scott Servais said. "Guys are feeling it right now. We're playing great baseball. We're leaning on each other. That's what this team is about."
Despite rallying for a 10-5 road victory against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, the White Sox enter the opener of a seven-game homestand scuffling.
Chicago, long out of the playoff picture despite lofty expectations, has lost six of its past eight. The Rockies won the first two games of the teams' weekend series by a combined score of 25-6 before the White Sox surged to a seven-run eighth inning in the finale.
White Sox manager Pedro Grifol lauded the team's resilience amid ongoing concerns about Chicago's collective energy during a tumultuous season.
"We fell behind [again] today, and momentum wasn't on our side. It was on theirs," Grifol said. "It was good to see the guys continue to battle. It's a good group in there. They root for each other, they fight for each other. Sometimes, it just doesn't go our way. But I like what they're doing in there.
"Those are things that I don't need to talk about with the media or anything like that. It stays in [the clubhouse]. But I like what they're doing."
Andrew Vaughn and Andrew Benintendi had three hits each for the White Sox.
On Monday, Seattle will turn to right-hander Luis Castillo (9-7, 3.23 ERA), who has won two consecutive starts and three of four. In two career starts against Chicago, covering 12 1/3 innings, Castillo is 0-0 with a 2.92 ERA.
Righty Touki Toussaint (1-5, 4.47) is set to start for the White Sox. He is coming off a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, when he allowed three runs and three hits in four-plus innings. Toussaint struggled in his only previous appearance against Seattle, allowing four runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings last August.
The Mariners took two of three games from the visiting White Sox when the clubs met in Seattle from June 16-18. Two of the meetings were decided by one run, including Chicago's 4-3 victory in 11 innings in the middle game of the series.
—Field Level Media