Seattle has lived by the long ball as of late, and so far so good. The Mariners -- who rank first in the Majors with 49 percent of their runs coming via the home run -- have hit 23 dingers in their last 13 games, with at least one in each contest.
After beating the Reds (49-37) by a score of 4-2 on Friday thanks in large part to two homers, the Mariners (38-48) will hope to win the series in Cincinnati by mashing the ball all over the hitter-friendly park.
With both Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales swinging the bat well, manager Eric Wedge can't even use all his sluggers at once in his suddenly powerful lineup. While he said he would "love to have them both in there," Wedge must choose one to bat because Seattle has lost the designated hitter position while playing in a National League park.
Morales is third on the team with 11 home runs and second in the American league with 10 game-winning RBIs. Meanwhile, Smoak has hit .319 with three home runs in 13 games since returning from the DL on June 18.
Trying to keep Seattle's knocks in the park will be Mat Latos, who has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 17 starts this season. Latos has note fared well in his career against Seattle, however, going 1-2 with 4.00 ERA in three starts.
Jeremy Bonderman will take the hill for Seattle.
Mariners: Saunders effective in return
Outfielder Michael Saunders, who had not started since last Friday after getting spiked in the middle finger of his right hand, returned with a vengeance in the opener against the Reds.
After striking out in a pinch-hitter appearance against the Rangers on Thursday, Saunders went 1-for-3 with a home run and an RBI sac fly in Seattle's 4-2 win.
Reds: All-Stars seeing Reds
First baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips led the All-Star voting in the latest ballot update for the NL at their respective positions. Assuming he is selected, Votto will become the first Reds player to earn consecutive fan-elected starts since Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin in 1999-2000.
Votto and Phillips would become the first set of teammates to earn fan-elected starts at first and second base.
• With Friday's win, the Mariners improved to 9-1 all-time against the Reds.
• This series is Seattle's first appearance at Great American Ball Park.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.