Justin Masterson goes for his seventh win Sunday when the Cleveland Indians host Felix Hernandez and the Mariners in the third of a four-game series. / Wiki Commons
GAME: Mariners (20-23, 3rd, AL West, -8.0 GB) at Indians (24-17, 1st, AL Central, +1.0 GA). GAME #: 44. SERIES: 3rd of 4 games. MEETING: 3rd (Indians lead 2-0). WHEN: Sunday, 10:05 a.m., Progressive Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 2; Indians W 3. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Three walk-off losses in a row would set a Mariners’ franchise record. But unlike Friday and Saturday, when Cleveland stunned Seattle with game-winning hits, such a consummation is likely to be avoided Sunday since Seattle will have Felix Hernandez going against the Indians in the third of four games at Progressive Field. Hernandez is in one of those zones, with four wins in his past five starts.
In those five, Hernandez has allowed three earned runs while recording 36 strikeouts vs. five walks. Hernandez has walked 10 batters all season. He would be seeking his sixth consecutive victory if the Seattle bullpen hadn’t botched his chance to beat New York May 14 in Yankee Stadium.
Although the Mariners (20-23) have lost two in a row, they have won 12 of their past 19 and are 2-3 on the nine-game road trip. Sunday, they’ll face Justin Masterson, who has already notched six wins for the AL Central leaders.
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (5-2, 1.53 ERA, 0.92 WHIP)
The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with the Mariners, will make his 10th start and first against the Indians. Off to the best start of his career, Hernandez has won his past four decisions and would have made it five earlier in the week against the Yankees if the Seattle bullpen held a 3-1 lead. Hernandez has pitched into the seventh inning seven times.
- LAST START: May 14 at New York, took a no-decision in a 4-3 loss to the Yankees; 1 run on 5 hits in 6.0 innings; 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 97 pitches, 61 for strikes.
- LAST VS. INDIANS: Aug. 21, 2012, won 5-1; 1 run on 7 hits in 7.2 innings; 5 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 105 pitches, 70 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. INDIANS: 6-4, 2.90 ERA in 13 starts covering 83.2 innings; 86 strikeouts, 29 walks, 7 home runs, 1.32 WHIP.
- AT PROGRESSIVE FIELD: 3-4, 4.02 ERA in 8 starts covering 47.0 innings; 50 strikeouts, 24 walks, 5 home runs, 1.66 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Ryan Raburn (0-for-6, .000), Asdrubal Cabrera (3-for-17, .176), Nick Swisher (10-for-48, .208).
- HATES TO FACE: Mike Aviles (6-for-14, .429), Jason Giambi (4-for-11, .364), Michael Brantley (6-for-17, .353).
- CURRENT INDIANS VS. HERNANDEZ: 43-for-154, .279 BA, 32 strikeouts, 13 walks, 5 home runs, .337 on-base percentage.
INDIANS: RHP Justin Masterson (6-2, 3.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)
The 28-year-old Masterson, in his sixth major league season, five with Cleveland, will make his 10th start and first against the Mariners. Masterson has won three of his past four decisions, including the last two. The Kingston, Jamaica, native has already thrown two shutouts, 1-0 against the White Sox April 12 and 1-0 against the Yankees in his last outing May 13.
- LAST START: May 13, defeated the Yankees 1-0; 0 runs on 4 hits in 9.0 innings; 9 strikeouts, 3 walks, 0 home runs, 118 pitches, 79 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: April 17, 2012, took a no-decision in Cleveland’s 9-8 win; 8 earned runs on 7 hits in 3.2 innings; 1 strikeout, 4 walks, 1 home run, 71 pitches, 39 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 3-0, 3.67 ERA in 9 games, including 6 starts, covering 41.2 innings; 36 strikeouts, 16 walks, 2 home runs, 1.20 WHIP.
- AT PROGRESSIVE FIELD: 17-20, 3.25 ERA in 63 games, including 58 starts, covering 392.2 innings; 315 strikeouts, 135 walks, 21 home runs, 1.25 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Dustin Ackley (0-for-6, .000), Raul Ibanez (1-for-11, .091, Kendrys Morales (1-for-11, .091), Endy Chavez (1-for-8, .125).
- HATES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (4-for-6, .667), Justin Smoak (4-for-7, .571).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. MASTERSON: 15-for-88, .170 BA, 19 strikeouts, 10 walks, 0 home runs, .260 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three at New York (Tuesday-Thursday), four at Cleveland (Friday-Monday), two at L.A. Angels (May 21-22). The Mariners return to Safeco Field May 24 to begin a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.
- The Raul Ibanez-Justin Smoak back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning Saturday were the first by a Seattle duo since Ibanez and Michael Morse hit consecutive homers against Houston April 9.
- Brendan Ryan’s home run in the eighth inning Saturday was his first of the season and also his first extra-base hit.
- Manager Eric Wedge said that when OF Franklin Gutierrez, on a rehab assignment, is ready to rejoin the club he will likely see considerable time in right field.
- Danny Farquhar, just up from AAA Tacoma, made his debut with Seattle Saturday and recorded five strikeouts in 2.2 innings.
- In the Mariners’ 20 victories, they are batting .298 (48-for-161) with runners in scoring position. In 23 losses, the Mariners are batting .116 (18-for-155) with RISP. The Mariners have no hits with RISP 11 times in 43 games.
||RHP Felix Hernandez (5-2) vs. RHP Justin Masterson (6-2)
||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (4-1) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (2-1)
||RHP Aaron Harang (1-4) vs. Jerome Williams (2-1)
||RHP Brandon Maurer (2-5) vs. TBA