Although Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma command much of the attention, Taijuan Walker has become a fixture in Seattle's rotation after a rough start to his season.
The Mariners seek their 11th victory in 14 games with Walker on the mound as they try to avoid getting swept at home by the resurgent Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
After making a total of eight starts from 2013-14, the jury was still out on the 23-year-old Walker (5-2, 3.74 ERA) while he went a disappointing 1-5 with a 7.33 ERA over his first nine outings this year.
Something then seemed to click for the 2010 first-round pick in late May. Since then he's gone 7-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 15 starts and has limited teams to three earned runs or less in 12 of those outings.
Walker kept the Mariners (56-67) close without his best stuff Monday, allowing a season-high 10 hits but only three runs over six innings while not factoring into the decision of a 4-3 loss at Texas.
In his only other start against Chicago, the right-hander allowed five walks and one run while throwing 83 pitches over four innings in a 1-0 loss July 6, 2014.
Walker might want to keep matters in his own hands late since the Seattle bullpen has a 9.34 ERA over the past nine games. Carson Smith blew the save in the ninth inning Saturday before Danny Farquhar gave up three runs in the 10th of a 6-3 defeat.
After the game, Seattle designated Fernando Rodney for assignment and optioned Farquhar to Triple-A Tacoma.
"The fact is, we are just not getting it done," manager Lloyd McClendon said.
After losing the first three on this seven-game trip, the White Sox got back within 4 1/2 games of a wild-card spot with three straight wins. They haven't swept a series in Seattle since April 2012.
The White Sox (58-63) have hit .319 and totaled 25 runs during their win streak.
Trayce Thompson, brother of Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, went 2 for 3 with his second home run Saturday. The outfielder is 9 for 19 in 10 games since getting recalled Aug. 4.
"Coming back, everybody loves it, it's always a boost," manager Robin Ventura said.
Since posting a 1.37 ERA while winning six consecutive starts versus Seattle, John Danks (6-10, 4.61) has yielded eight runs over 12 1-3 innings in dropping his last two.
The veteran left-hander allowed five runs - four earned - over seven innings in Tuesday's 5-3 loss at the Los Angeles Angels. Danks has gone 2-7 with a 5.98 ERA in 11 road starts and has a 7.07 mark while dropping his last four decisions there.
Austin Jackson should be happy to see Danks since he's batting .429 with three home runs in 49 at-bats. Robinson Cano is hitting .400 with a homer in 15 at-bats against him.
Nelson Cruz has hit .364 with 16 longballs and 23 RBIs while reaching base in 32 consecutive games.
The Mariners, however, are slumping offensively with a .223 average and 15 total runs over their last five contests. They've further faded from the playoff chase during their current 2-6 stretch.
Franklin Gutierrez had three of the team's eight hits Saturday, including a two-run double. Mark Trumbo, however, was a late scratch and is day-to-day with a sore left knee.