A 4-3 loser in 10 innings Tuesday night on, of all things, a balk, the Marinerr will send out Felix Hernandez to figure out the Rangers, which he hasn’t done this season.
GAME: Rangers (77-55, 1st AL West, 0.0 GA) at Mariners (59-72, 4th, AL West, -17.5 GB). GAME #: 132. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING: 19th (Rangers lead 9-7). WHEN: Wednesday, 12:40 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 5; Rangers W 2. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
It’s not often that Felix Hernandez delivers a clinker of a start, but when he does it’s usually against the Texas Rangers, who play their 2013 swan song at Safeco Field Wednesday afternoon against Felix and the Mariners. Hernandez has tried to beat the AL West leaders four times this year and hasn’t been able to do it, going 0-3 with a 5.55 ERA with 15 earned runs allowed.
No other team has defeated Hernandez more than once, and no other team has produced double figures in earned runs against him. But Felix just doesn’t do Texas. The Rangers hit him at a .327 clip, 11 of the 33 hits he’s surrendered going for extra bases. The L.A. Angels have 27 hits off Hernandez, eight for extra bases.
Seattle’s offense has eight runs in the past five contests, all losses. At 59-72, the Mariners are at their nadir, 15.0 games behind the Rangers.
The Mariners had a perfect chance to end their four-game losing streak when they placed runners on first and second with none out in the ninth inning. But consecutive strikeouts by rookies Nick Franklin and Brad Miller and Humberto Quintero’s popout bunt attempt set up the Rangers to win in 10 innings, 4-3, on a balk by Danny Farquhar.
That wasn’t the only offensive failure. The Mariners went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine. Hernandez, and especially against the potent Texas lineup, will need more than that to reverse his fortunes Wednesday.
Hernandez will oppose Martin Perez, the winning pitcher Aug. 17 when Texas battered the Mariners 15-3. A closer look:
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (12-7, 2.63 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with Seattle, will make his 28th start and fifth against the Rangers. Hernandez is 7-3 with a 2.72 ERA over his last 16 starts, but he has lost two straight, including a 2-0 decision to the Angels last Friday when he gave up three hits in six innings. He’s 0-3 vs. Texas this year and 12-19 with a 3.94 ERA in his career.
RANGERS: LHP Martin Perez (7-3, 3.62, 1.30 WHIP)
The 22-year-old Perez, a Venezuela native in his second major league season, both with Texas, will make his 14th start and third against the Mariners. Perez experienced one rough inning last time out against the White Sox, giving up three runs, but rebounded to throw seven strong innings otherwise. The lefty beat the Mariners Aug. 17 and has a 2.19 ERA in two starts against Seattle this year.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|8/28||Wed||vs. Tex||RHP Felix Hernandez (12-7) vs. LHP Martin Perez (7-3)|
|8/29||Thr||at Hou||RHP Erasmo Ramirez (4-1) vs. TBA|
|8/30||Fri||at Hou||TBA vs. TBA|
|8/31||Sat||at Hou||TBA vs. TBA|