The rest of the American League West hasn't taken off, which is why the Mariners are on the border of being in the divisional chase despite a 19-24 record.
It hasn't hurt that the offensively troubled Mariners can count on getting good starting pitching, day in and day out, either.
On a just-completed 3-1 homestand, the Mariners saw their starters throw 30 innings while giving up only three runs. In May, the Mariners have 11 starts of seven or more innings in 15 games, and an ERA of 2.45.
On Thursday, Doug Fister pitched eight innings of one-run ball, bringing the starters' overall ERA down to 3.27, second in the league.
"The starting pitching has been outstanding," manager Eric Wedge said. "They are consistently getting us deep in games with a chance to win."
Fister (2.93), Felix Hernandez (3.23), Michael Pineda (2.45) and Jason Vargas (3.39) are all under 3.50 in ERA, and the one starter who isn't, Friday's starter Erik Bedard, has allowed only four earned runs over 19 innings in his last three starts.
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