GAME: Rangers (31-17, 1st, AL West, +5.5 GA) at Mariners (20-28, 4th, AL West, -11.0 GB). GAME #: 49. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 9th (Rangers lead 6-2). WHEN: Saturday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 7; Rangers W 2. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Since Felix Hernandez made his major league debut in 2005, no team has given him more fits than the Texas Rangers. Hernandez, the 2010 Cy Young winner, made 35 starts against Texas and is 12-17, 3.77 ERA. The 17 losses are nearly three times as many as any other team against Hernandez (Oakland has beaten him six times) and his ERA is the highest against any club he’s faced more than 10 times.
Hernandez gets another crack at the Rangers Saturday night when the Mariners and Texas continue their three-game series. He represents Seattle’s best chance at snapping a losing streak that reached seven games Friday when Texas won 9-5 by finally pinning a Seattle loss on Joe Saunders.
Saunders entered Friday’s game with a 9-0 career mark at Safeco Field, including a 3-0, 0.94 record this season. But he surrendered a two-run homer to Jeff Baker and a three-run shot to Lance Berkman, extending Seattle’s woes. The Mariners have been outscored 28-6 in their past three games.
Hernandez has faced Texas once this season, losing 4-3 April 11 at Safeco Field. Saturday, he’ll oppose lefty Derek Holland, who has yet to face Seattle this season but is 7-2 against the Mariners in his career.
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (5-3, 2.07 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with the Mariners, will make his 11th start and second against the Rangers. The Mariners ace gave up six runs (five earned) in five innings last Sunday in Cleveland after allowing just four earned runs in his previous six starts. Hernandez, who had a no-decision in his previous start, had a season-high four-game winning streak April 22-May 8.
- LAST START: May 19 at Cleveland, lost 6-0; 5 earned runs on 8 hits over 5.0 innings; 8 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 home run, 107 pitches, 68 for strikes.
- LAST VS. RANGERS: April 11 at Safeco Field, lost 4-3; 3 earned runs on 10 hits in 6.2 innings; 5 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 home run, 113 pitches, 77 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. RANGERS: 12-17, 3.77 ERA in 35 starts covering 227.0 innings; 198 strikeouts, 69 walks, 20 home runs, 1.26 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 52-36, 3.13 ERA in 122 starts covering 845.2 innings; 808 strikeouts, 232 walks, 66 home runs, 1.18 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Mitch Moreland (4-for-21, .190), A.J. Pierzynski (7-for-34, .206), Nelson Cruz (13-for-53, .245).
- HATES TO FACE: Lance Berkman (3-for-7, .429), Leonys Martin (3-for-8, .375), Elvis Andrus (17-for-54, .315).
- CURRENT RANGERS VS. HERNANDEZ: 88-for-324, .263 BA, 69 strikeouts, 24 walks, 11 home runs, .321 on-base percentage.
RANGERS: LHP Derek Holland (3-2, 3.30 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)
The 26-year-old Holland, a Newark, OH., native in his fifth major league season, all with Texas, will make his 10th start and first against the Mariners. After going 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his first two starts this month, Holland has posted a 6.97 ERA in his last two outings, both no-decisions. Holland defeated Boston and Milwaukee in back-to-back outings May 3 and 8.
- LAST START: May 19 vs. Detroit, took a no-decision in Texas’ 11-8 win; 4 earned runs on 8 hits in 4.2 innings; 6 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 home runs, 106 pitches, 66 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: July 13, 2012, won 3-2; 0 earned runs on 4 hits in 7.2 innings; 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 106 pitches, 65 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 7-2, 3.74 ERA in 13 games, including 9 starts, covering 65.0 innings; 61 strikeouts, 17 walks, 7 home runs, 1.16 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 2-0, 0.92 ERA in 8 games, including 6 starts, covering 19.2 innings; 14 strikeouts, 4 walks, 0 home runs, 0.91 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Kelly Shoppach (1-for-11, .091), Dustin Ackley (3-for-17, .176), Kendrys Morales (2-for-10, .200).
- HATES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (4-for-11, .364), Jesus Montero (2-for-7, .286), Justin Smoak (5-for-18, .278).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. HOLLAND: 27-for-136, .199 BA, 41 strikeouts, 12 walks, 5 home runs, .264 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Three vs. Texas (Friday-Sunday), two vs. San Diego (Monday-Tuesday). Following the home stand, the Mariners will play two at San Diego (Wednesday-Thursday) and three at Minnesota (Friday-Sunday). The Mariners have begun a run of 20 games in 20 days with their next day off June 13.
- Kendrys Morales has at least one hit in 16 of his last 19 games and is batting .347 over that span.
- Jesus Sucre made his MLB debut and recorded his first career hit with a single in the ninth inning.
- Brendan Ryan has hit safely in eight of his past nine games and is batting .409 over that span.
- Raul Ibanez’ went 2-for-4 and his double in the third inning was the 400th of his major league career.
- The Mariners Friday called up catcher Jesus Sucre and INF Carlos Triunfel and designated INF Robert Andino for assignment. Sucre becomes the backup catcher, replacing Jesus Montero, optioned to Tacoma, where he played first base Friday night. The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Andino’s contract to the minors.
|5/25||Sat||vs. Tex||RHP Felix Hernandez (5-3) vs. LHP Derek Holland (3-2)|
|5/26||Sun||vs. Tex||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-) vs. RHP Nick Tepesch (3-4)|
|5/27||Mon||vs. SD||TBA vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (3-5)|