It's been a long time since you could pair the words "Jason Vargas" and "winning streak" together.
And you could say the same thing about Vargas' team, the Mariners, and not be too far off.
Vargas, who snapped a nine-game losing streak his last time out by beating the Red Sox 5-4 in Boston, pitched 7 2/3 innings Thursday in Seattle's 3-1 win over Texas. It's the first time the left-hander has posted consecutive wins since last August, when he ran off three straight wins.
He's been a major factor in resurgence by the Mariners, who have won three consecutive series, beating the Tigers (3-0), the Red Sox (2-1) and now the Rangers (2-1). The Mariners split the series before that against Oakland, so Seattle is 3-0-1 in its last four series after going 2-4 in its first six series.
Seattle's last string of three consecutive winning series was against the Royals, the A's and the Indians last Aug. 6-15, a streak in which Vargas also was a major contributor.
He started the 2011 season as the No. 2 man in the rotation behind Felix Hernandez, and while he has been supplanted for the moment at least by rookie Michael Pineda, Vargas is a key if Seattle is going to have a successful season.
Vargas made a career-best 31 starts last year, and he allowed two runs or fewer in 17 of those. If the Mariners had any kind of offense at all, he would have had a much better record than his final 9-12 mark. And while the Mariners don't exactly have a run-a-minute offense now, Seattle seems to be playing better behind Vargas now.
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