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.
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:
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.
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.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|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)|