Neither pitcher started the year particularly well, but as the season has progressed, so have Aaron Harang and Felix Doubront.
With the Red Sox and Mariners having split the first two contests of their four-game set, the two pitchers will square off Wednesday in Seattle. After a 1-3 start to Boston's 10-game West Coast road trip, a win would bring the Sox's record during the trip to 3-3.
It will be Doubront's job to try and make that a reality. The lefty has quietly been a bright spot for the Boston rotation, especially with Clay Buchholz on the disabled list and Jon Lester struggling to regain his dominant form. Doubront hasn't given up more than three runs in a start since May 8 and has a 2.08 ERA over his last four outings.
The success hasn't translated into many wins for the 25-year-old -- he has two wins in his last 12 appearances -- but Doubront has kept the Red Sox in games and manager John Farrell has taken notice.
"You know, it started a while ago down in [St. Petersburg], where he made some adjustments with [pitching coach] Juan [Nieves]," Farrell said. "They've altered his five-day rotation with his throwing, going to day three and getting him a little closer with the touch and feel the day before. And it certainly paid off. He's kind of flown under the radar given the years by other guys. He's logging quality innings for us."
For the most part, Harang has done the same for his club. He had a 3.54 ERA over six starts in June and pitched six innings of two-run ball in Friday's outing against his former team, the Cincinnati Reds.
Harang also has the advantage of pitching at home, where he's posted a 3-3 record with a 4.18 ERA as compared to a 1-4 mark with a 6.03 ERA on the road.
Safeco Field has been the 20th most difficult ballpark to score in this season, according to sabermetrics.
"There are advantages. It's definitely different pitching here," Harang said of Safeco Field. "It seems like lately the ball has been flying a lot more here because it's warmed up. But when it's cold here, the ball doesn't go anywhere. The warmer it is, the more it flies. That's the way it is at most parks though."
Red Sox: Bradley provides spark as backup
Jackie Bradley Jr. was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday to add some depth to an ailing Red Sox outfield, and it didn't take long for the club's No. 2 prospect to make an impact.
The 23-year-old clubbed the second home run of his Major League career Tuesday to break a 7-7 tie in the fifth inning.
Bradley played center field in place of Jacoby Ellsbury, who is still recovering from a sore left wrist. Shane Victorino started in right field, but he is still not at 100 percent with a tight left hamstring.
"If either one of the two were operating at 100 percent, we probably wouldn't have made the move," Farrell said. "But the fact is they're not, and we need that guy."
Mariners: Morse to hit in simulated game
Seattle outfielder Michael Morse will hit in a simulated game on Wednesday as he continues to recover from a strained quadriceps in his right leg, which has sidelined him since June 21.
He has been taking batting practice daily, and if all goes well in the simulated game, the next step is a rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma.
"I haven't heard when or where or anything yet, but hopefully soon," Morse said. "The less I think about it and the quicker I just go out there and play, the quicker I'll be back. I don't feel like I've been out that long yet."
Morse has 11 home runs and 23 RBIs with a .251 batting average in 56 games this season.
• The Red Sox own a 221-163 (.576) record against the Mariners all-time, giving them the best winning percentage against Seattle of any AL team.
• Raul Ibanez's 13-game hitting streak ended after going 0-for-5 Tuesday. The streak was tied for the second-longest of his career and was five games short of reaching a personal best.
• With four hits Tuesday, David Ortiz now has 1,688 hits as a designated hitter, tied with Harold Baines for the most all-time.
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.