BY SPNW Staff 06:29AM 08/17/2013

#122: Felix Takes Another Shot At Nemesis Texas

The Mariners didn’t have a hit through 5.1 innings Friday,, but rallied and pulled out a 3-1 win. Now Texas will attempt to feast, as they often have done, against Felix Hernandez.

The playoff-bound Texas Rangers, led by manager Ron Washington, will try for a bounce-back against the Mariners Saturday after Seattle escaped with a 3-1 win Friday. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (56-65, 3rd, AL West, -12.0 GB) at Rangers (70-52, 1st, AL West, +1.0 GA). GAME #: 122. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 15th (Mariners lead 9-5). WHEN: Saturday, 5:05 p.m., Rangers Ballpark. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Rangers L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: 770 AM, Mariners Radio Network

If Felix Hernandez is going to have a good chance at his second Cy Young award,  he’s going to have to negotiate his way through the Texas Rangers two more times, Saturday at Rangers Ballpark and again in a series in two weeks when the Rangers make their final visit to Safeco Field.

Hernandez has never fared well against the AL West Division leaders, going 12-18, 3.83 for his career. No team has beaten Hernandez more often. In fact, the 18 defeats are six more than Hernandez dropped to any other team (L.A. Angels 12). Only the Angels, with 25, have hit more home runs off Hernandez than the Rangers (23), who are on a tear.

The Rangers have won nine of their past 11, but couldn’t get it done Friday night after Kyle Seager belted his 18th home run, helping lift Hisashi Iwakuma to a 2-1 win and his 11th victory, his first since July 25.

This year hasn’t helped Hernandez’s numbers against Texas. In three starts, Hernandez is 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA. The 10 earned runs he allowed represent 23 percent of his season total. Even with that, Hernandez remains firmly in the Cy Young race, ranking first in innings pitched (173.2) and ERA (2.28) and second in WAR (5.9).

Hernandez’s opponent Saturday is 22-year-old Martin Perez, who has strung together three good starts and held the Mariners to one earned run July 4, his only start against them. A closer look:

SATURDAY’S PROBABLES

MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (12-5, 2.28 ERA, 1.07 WHIP)

The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with Seattle, will make his 26th start and fourth against the Rangers. Hernandez leads the AL in ERA and has been dominant of late, going 7-1 with a 2.11 ERA and 11 quality starts over his past 14 outings.

  • LAST START: Aug. 11 vs. Milwaukee, won 2-0; 0 earned runs on 4 hits in 8.0 innings; 9 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 108 pitches, 71 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. RANGERS: July 3 at Texas, took a no-decision in Seattle’s 4-2 win; 2 earned runs on 7 hit in 7.0 innings; 7 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 home runs, 107 pitches, 71 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. RANGERS: 12-18, 3.83 ERA in 37 starts covering 239.2 innings; 214 strikeouts, 72 walks, 23 home runs, 1.28 WHIP.
  • AT RANGERS BALLPARK: 5-8, 4.23 ERA in 17 starts covering 104.1 innings; 87 strikeouts, 40 walks, 8 home runs, 1.42 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Mitch Moreland (5-for-27, .185), Alex Rios (6-for-28, .214), Ian Kinsler (17-for-72, .236).
  • HATES TO FACE: Lance Berkman (6-for-13, .462), Adrian Beltre (8-for-25, .320), Leonys Martin (4-for-13, .308).
  • CURRENT RANGERS VS. HERNANDEZ: 113-for-418, .270 BA, 97 strikeouts, 28 walks, 15 home runs, .323 on-base percentage.

RANGERS: LHP Martin Perez (5-3, 3.44 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

The 22-year-old Perez, a Venezuela native in his second major league season, both with Texas, will make his 12th start and second against the Mariners. Perez is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his past three starts after throwing his first complete game in a 6-1 victory over the Astros last Sunday. He made one start against the Mariners July 4 and allowed one unearned run in 5.1 innings.

  • LAST START: Aug. 11 at Houston, won 6-1; 1 earned run on 4 hits in 9.0 innings; 8 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 home run, 115 pitches, 80 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: July 4, took a no-decision in Texas’ 5-4 win; 1 unearned run on 8 hits in 5.1 innings; 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 87 pitches, 54 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 0-1, 1.84 ERA in 4 games, including 2 starts, covering 14.2 innings; 12 strikeouts, 6 walks, 0 home runs, 1.36 WHIP.
  • AT RANGERS BALLPARK: 2-3, 3.44 ERA in 12 games, including 8 starts, covering 49.2 innings; 32 strikeouts, 15 walks, 2 home runs, 1.40 WHIP.
  • LOVE TO FACE: Dustin Ackley (0-for-5, .000), Brendan Ryan (0-for-4, .000), Michael Saunders (0-for-3, .000).
  • HATES TO FACE: Justin Smoak (4-for-5, .800), Raul Ibanez (2-for-3, .667), Nick Franklin (1-for-3, .333).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. PEREZ: 11-for-45, .244 BA, 9 strikeouts, 6 walks, 0 home runs, .333 on-base percentage.

MARINERS STATS / NOTES

  • CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three at Tampa Bay (Tuesday-Thursday), three at Texas (Friday-Sunday), three at Oakland (Monday-Wednesday). Following a day off Thursday, the Mariners will begin a six-game home stand Friday vs. the Angels and Rangers.
  • Seattle’s win Friday was only its seventh in the last 19 games.
  • Kyle Seager’s 18th home run, in the eighth inning, snapped an 0-for-21 slide. Seager has a 12-game hitting streak at Rangers Ballpark.
  • Justin Smoak, who hit his 14th home run in the ninth inning, has hit successfully in 13 of his past 15 contests.
  • Danny Farquhar, who blew his first save opportunity in Tampa two nights ago, has six saves in seven chances after a perfect ninth inning.
  • Raul Ibanez is the first Mariner to hit 25 home runs in a season since 2009, when Russell Branyan banged 31 and Jose Lopez 25.
  • Mike Zunino, sidelined for three weeks with a broken hamate bone in his left hand, started swinging a bat this week. The Mariners hope Zunino will be able to rejoin the club for the last month of the season.
  • Saturday’s 5:05 p.m. PT game against the Rangers will be aired on 770 AM and 104.5 FM in the Seattle area instead of the normal 710 ESPN Seattle due to a conflict with the Seahawks’ preseason game against the Denver Broncos.

UPCOMING PROBABLES

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
8/17 Sat at Tex RHP Felix Hernandez (12-5) vs. LHP Martin Perez (5-3)
8/18 Sun at Tex RHP Erasmo Ramirez (4-0) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (12-5)
8/19 Mon at Oak RHP Aaron Harang (5-10) vs. RHP Jarrod Parker (8-6)
8/20 Tue at Oak LHP Joe Saunders (10-12) vs. RHP Sonny Gray (0-1)
8/21 Wed at Oak RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (11-6) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (10-8)

 


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