Kendrys Morales surged at the plate during the month of May, pushing his batting average over .300. He is on a five-game hitting streak. / Wiki Commons
GAME: White Sox (24-31, 4th, AL Central, -6.0 GB) at Mariners (25-33, 4th, AL West, -11.0 GB). GAME #: 59. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 5th (series tied 2-2). WHEN: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; White Sox L 7. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
It’s hard to predict which Felix Hernandez you are going to get. He allowed seven earned runs in back-to-back starts April 6 and April 11, did not allow more than one earned run in six consecutive starts between April 17-May 14, got hammered for a combined 10 earned runs in starts May 19 and May 25, and then came back with one earned run permitted in his last outing May 30, a 7-1 win at San Diego.
The trend suggests that Hernandez is on an uptick, and he’ll have to be to beat his mound foe Tuesday, Chicago’s Jake Peavy, who is 5-1 in his career against Seattle and 3-0, 0.86 at Safeco Field, lights-out numbers by any standard.
Current Mariners have a decent .267 batting average against Peavy, like Fernandez a former Cy Young winner, but Seattle comes into the game hitting a paltry .237 after Monday night’s 4-2, series-opening victory, fueled by the splendid pitching of Joe Saunders and Raul Ibanez’s two-run home run. A closer look at the matchup:
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (6-4, 2.38 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)
The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with the Mariners, will make his 13th start and second against the White Sox. Hernandez, who had a four-game winning streak between April 22-May 8, had two losses and a no-decision in his next three, but came back in his last outing with a vintage performance in a 7-1 win at San Diego. Hernandez has worked into the eighth inning in six of his starts. He is the American League leader in innings pitched, 83.1.
- LAST START: May 30 at San Diego, won 7-1; 1 earned run on 3 hits in 8.0 innings; 6 strikeouts, 3 walks, 0 home runs, 110 pitches, 70 for strikes.
- LAST VS. WHITE SOX: April 6, at Chicago, lost 4-3; 4 earned runs on 6 hits in 6.1 innings; 3 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 home run, 108 pitches, 66 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. WHITE SOX: 3-5, 3.69 ERA in 13 starts covering 85.1 innings; 76 strikeouts, 27 walks, 15 home runs, 1.27 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 52-37, 3.16 ERA in 123 starts covering 851.1 innings; 817 strikeouts, 234 walks, 67 home runs, 1.18 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Dewayne Wise (0-for-3, .000), Gordon Beckham (4-for-19, .211), Alex Rios (6-for-25, .240).
- HATES TO FACE: Brent Morel (2-for-3, .667), Alexei Ramirez (7-for-24, .292), Adam Dunn (2-for-7, .286).
- CURRENT WHITE SOX VS. HERNANDEZ: 31-for-120, .258 BA, 31 strikeouts, 11 walks, 6 home runs, .321 on-base percentage.
WHITE SOX: RHP Jake Peavy (6-3, .362 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)
The 32-year-old Peavy, a Mobile, AL., native in his 12th major league season and fifth with the White Sox, will make his 11th start and first against the Mariners. Peavy, who broke in with San Diego in 2002 and won a career-high 19 games in 2007, has lost two of his past three decisions. He’s worked into the seventh inning in six starts and has allowed one or fewer runs five times.
- LAST START: May 30 vs. Chicago Cubs, lost 8-3; 6 earned runs on 8 hits in 4.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 home run, 69 pitches, 48 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 24, 2012, took a no-decision in Chicago’s 9-8 victory; 2 earned runs on 7 hits in 7.0 innings; 5 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 home run, 105 pitches, 73 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 5-1, 2.25 ERA in 9 starts covering 53.2 innings; 50 strikeouts, 11 walks, 5 home runs, 1.01 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 3-0, 0.86 ERA in 3 starts covering 21.0 innings; 23 strikeouts, 4 walks, 0 home runs, 0.81 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Brendan Ryan (1-for-8, .125), Jason Bay (2-for-12, .167), Michael Saunders (1-for-5, .20).
- HATES TO FACE: Endy Chavez (4-for-12, .333), Raul Ibanez (5-for-16, .313), Kendrys Morales (3-for-10, .300).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. PEAVY: 27-for-101, .267 BA, 23 strikeouts, 7 walks, 4 home runs, .315 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Three vs. the White Sox (Monday-Wednesday), four vs. Yankees (Thursday-Sunday), three vs. the Astros (Monday-Wednesday). The Mariners are amid 20 games in 20 days with their next day off June 13.
- With his win Monday, Joe Saunders is 4-1, 2.25 ERA in six starts this season at Safeco Field and 9-1, 1.54 in his career.
- Kendrys Morales extended his hitting streak to five games and is batting .350 during the streak. Morales has 13 RBIs over his past 11 games.
- Raul Ibanez’s home run Monday came on the 13th pitch of the at-bat. According to Baseball Reference.com, that was the most pitches Ibanez has seen in an at-bat resulting in a home run in his career. Ibanez has hit at least 10 home runs in every season since 2001.
- Tom Wilhelmsen, who lost three of his previous four save opportunities, alloweda run but collected the save Monday, his 13th of the season in 16 chances.
- Saturday’s walk-off loss was Seattle’s sixth of the season, most in the majors (Miami has five) and the club’s 42nd walk-off loss since 2010. That’s 13 more than any other AL club (Toronto 29). The 2011 Mariners endured 13 walk-off defeats and last year’s club had 11.
2013 WALK-OFF LOSSES (6)
- April 7 at White Sox: Lost 4-3 in 10 innings when Kameron Loe allowed a solo home run to Dayan Viciedo.
- May 17 at Indians: Lost 6-3 in 10 innings on a three-run homer by Jason Kipnis off Lucas Luetge.
- May 18 at Indians: Lost 5-4 when Mark Reynolds hit into a fielder’s choice off Yoervis Medina in the ninth, scoring Jason Kipnis.
- May 20 at Indians: Lost 10-8 in 10 innings when Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer off Charlie Furbush.
- May 29 at Padres: Lost 3-2 when Will Venable hit a 10th-inning single off Yoervis Medina.
- June 1 at Twins: Lost 5-4 when Ryan Doumit hit a two-run triple in the ninth off Tom Wilhelmsen.
||RHP Felix Hernandez (6-4) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (6-2)
||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (6-1) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-3)
||RHP Aaron Harang (2-5) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (2-4)
||RHP Jeremy Bonderman (0-1) vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-4)
||LHP Joe Saunders (3-5) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (4-3)
||RHP Felix Hernandez (6-4) vs. RHP David Phelps (3-3)