Felix Hernandez will try for his 10th victory Saturday at Safeco Field against an Angels team that has a habit of beating him. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest
GAME: Angels (44-47, 3rd, AL West, -9.0 GB) at Mariners (41-52, 4th,, AL West, -13.0 GB). GAME #: 94. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 12th (Angels lead 6-5). WHEN: Saturday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Angels L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Felix Hernandez (9-4, 2.69) will make his final start before the All-Star break Saturday when the Mariners and L.A. Angels play the second of a three-game series. A victory would be Hernandez’s 10th and establish a personal, pre-All-Star break high. But Hernandez, who mows through most teams, has always had difficulty with the Halos.
He’s 1-0, 4.85 this season, but that’s deceiving. In his last start against L.A. June 20, he took a no-decision and was fortunate to get that after allowing six earned runs, including two homers, in 5.0 innings in a 10-9 Seattle setback.
For his nine-year career, covering 32 starts, Hernandez has beaten the Angels only seven times while losing 12. Only the Rangers have defeated him more often, 19 times. Hernandez has also surrendered 25 home runs to L.A. hitters, his most to any team.
Given that, Hernandez has to hope the Mariners continue their recent offensive onslaught. They have scored 38 runs in the past five games, including eight in an 8-3 win over the Angels Friday in a game in which the amazing Raul Ibanez went deep twice, his 23rd and 24th homers of the season. Ibanez’s 23rd, in the fourth inning, traveled an estimated 438 feet, according to Hit Tracker (previous longest 421 feet at Texas July 4).
Hernandez faces a tough foe Saturday in Jered Weaver, who spent nearly two months on the disabled list. Weaver is 12-7, 3.21 in his career against Seattle, but has been slightly less effective at Safeco Field at 5-6, 4.58.
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (9-4, 2.69 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)
The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with Seattle, will make his 20th start and third against the Angels, his nemesis team. Although Hernandez is 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts against L.A. this season, he was rocked for six earned runs on 12 hits in his last outing June 20 and is 7-12, 4.12 for his career.
- LAST START: July 8 vs. Boston, won 11-4; 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 7.0 innings; 6 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 103 pitches, 63 for strikes.
- LAST VS. ANGELS: June 20 at Anaheim, took a no-decision in Seattle’s 10-9 loss; 6 earned runs on 12 hits in 4.0 innings; 2 strikeouts, 0 walks, 2 home runs, 87 pitches, 55 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. ANGELS: 7-12, 4.12 ERA in 32 starts covering 218.2 innings; 187 strikeouts, 58 walks, 25 home runs, 1.29 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 54-37, 3.15 ERA in 127 starts covering 879.2 innings; 849 strikeouts, 241 walks, 69 home runs, 1.18 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Peter Bourjos (4-for-20, .200), Albert Pujols (5-for-22, .227), Erik Aybar (15-for-61, .246).
- HATES TO FACE: Mike Trout (14-for-30, .467), Mark Trumbo (10-for-33, .303), Howie Kendrick (17-for-62, .274).
- CURRENT ANGELS VS. HERNANDEZ: 89-for-353, .252 BA, 78 strikeouts, 22 walks, 10 home runs, .297 on-base percentage.
ANGELS: RHP Jered Weaver (3-4, 3.38 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
The 30-year-old Weaver, a Northridge, CA., native in his eighth major league season, all with the Angels, will make his 11th start and first against the Mariners. On the disabled list for nearly two months, Weaver has won consecutive starts following a three-game losing streak. He pitched his best game in his last start when he blanked the Red Sox over 6.2 innings.
- LAST START: July 7 at Anaheim, defeated the Red Sox 3-0; 0 earned runs on 5 hits in 6.2 innings; 6 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 114 pitches, 71 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Oct. 3, 2012, lost 12-0; 2 earned runs on 2 hits in 1.0 innings; 1 strikeout, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 25 pitches, 13 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 12-7, 3.21 ERA in 25 starts covering 159.2 innings; 118 strikeouts, 39 walks, 17 home runs, 1.21 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 5-6, 4.58 ERA in 13 starts covering 76.2 innings; 55 strikeouts, 22 walks, 11 home runs, 1.46 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (1-for-9, .111), Brendan Ryan (2-for-15, .133), Endy Chavez (3-for-17, .176).
- HATES TO FACE: Raul Ibanez (14-for-30, .467), Dustin Ackley (4-for-14, .286), Michael Saunders (4-for-15, .267).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. WEAVER: 47-for-179, .263 BA, 42 strikeouts, 20 walks, 11 home runs, .337 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Four vs. Boston (Monday-Thursday), three vs. the Los Angeles Angels (Friday-Sunday). The end of the Angels series coincides with the start of the All-Star break.
- Following the All-Star break, the Mariners have a three-game road trip at Houston (July 19-21). That will begin a stretch of 10 games in 10 days.
- The two home runs by Raul Ibanez Friday were his 23rd and 24th. Those are the most by a player 41 years or older before the All-Star break in major league history. Ibanez needs five more to match Ted Williams’ 1960 record for most homers in a season by a 41-year-old.
- Ibanez has hit 10 home runs in his past 17 games.
- Kyle Seager hit his 15th home run Friday, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He is batting .435 during that stretch.
- With three more long balls Friday, the Mariners have hit a home run in 20 consecutive games, a franchise record. The previous mark was 19 set by the 1999 Mariners from Sept. 7-27, 1999.
- Joe Saunders, the winner Friday, has recorded eight quality starts in his last nine outings. In that stretch, he has lowered his ERA from 6.09 to 4.24. Saunders is 1-1, 0.60 in two starts against the Angels, his former team.
- Close ones: 41 of Seattle’s 93 games have been decided by two or fewer runs. The Mariners are 19-22 in those games. The Mariners have played 14 extra-inning contests and are 6-8 in those games.
||RHP Felix Hernandez (9-4) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (3-4)
||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4) vs. RHP Joe Blanton (2-10)