The Texas Rangers are on a roll heading into Friday's opener of a three-game series against the host Seattle Mariners and they're expected to have third baseman Adrian Beltre back in the lineup after he missed most of this month with a strained quad. The Rangers have won eight of their last nine games following their three-game sweep at the Oakland Athletics, in which they totaled only 12 runs. Beltre, who turned 35 on April 7, has averaged 31.5 home runs over the last four seasons and has recorded 54 in his career at Safeco Field, where he played from 2005-2009.The Mariners have lost eight of nine coming in but they managed to end an eight-game losing streak with a 5-3 win on Wednesday against the Houston Astros. Seattle's problems have mostly been at the plate, where they're hitting .222 -- third worst in the majors. The good news is free-agent acquisition Robinson Cano appears to be settling in, collecting six hits in his last 14 at-bats, but he's still stuck on one home run.TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, TXA 21 (Texas), ROOT (Seattle)PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers LH Robbie Ross (1-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. Mariners LH Roenis Elias (1-2, 3.22)Ross makes his fifth career start after coming out of the Texas bullpen the last two seasons and he'll look for better results than last time out when he recorded a career-high eight strikeouts but allowed seven runs (four earned) and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of the 16-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Much of his problems were the result of poor control within the strike zone, according to manager Ron Washington. He faced the Mariners on April 15 and shut them out on five hits and no walks over 7 2/3 innings in a 5-0 victory. Elias is also making his fifth career start and, just like Ross, is looking for a bounce-back effort and better support from his teammates after surrendering six runs (four earned), eight hits and five walks in a 7-0 loss to the Miami Marlins last Saturday. He had his best start April 14 against the Rangers, giving up one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 7-1 victory, which preceded the eight-game losing streak. The Mariners are hoping the extra day between starts will give the rookie a little more jump on his fastball.WALK-OFFS1. The Mariners optioned 2B Nick Franklin to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday and recalled OF Cole Gillespie, who was hitting .362 with five home runs in 16 games with Tacoma.2. Rangers 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, who is hitting .362, did not play in Wednesday's game against the Athletics because of back tightness and has been sent to Texas to be examined.3. Ranger LHP Matt Harrison is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday after missing nearly all of 2013 and the first four weeks of this season with a herniated disc in his back.PREDICTION: Rangers 8, Mariners 3