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.
- LAST START: Aug. 23 vs. Angels, lost 2-0; 2 earned runs on 3 hits over 6.0 innings; 10 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 home run, 104 pitches, 68 for strikes.
- LAST VS. RANGERS: Aug. 17 at Texas, lost 15-3; 5 earned runs on 5 hits over 5.0 innings; 4 strikeouts, 5 walks, 0 home runs, 90 pitches, 52 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. RANGERS: 12-19, 3.94 ERA in 38 starts covering 244.2 innings; 218 strikeouts, 77 walks, 23 home runs, 1.29 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 56-39, 3.12 ERA in 132 starts covering 915.2 innings; 886 strikeouts, 246 walks, 71 home runs, 1.17 WHIP.
- LOVES TO FACE: Mitch Moreland (5-for-28, .179), A.J. Pierzynski (9-for-40, .225), Alex Rios (7-for-31, .226).
- HATES TO FACE: Jurickson Profar (3-for-4, .750), Adrian Beltre (9-for-27, .333), David Murphy (24-for-73, .329).
- CURRENT RANGERS VS. HERNANDEZ: 118-for-437, .270 BA, 101 strikeouts, 33 walks, 15 home runs, .328 on-base percentage.
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.
- LAST START: Aug. 23 at Chicago, won 11-5; 4 earned runs on 8 hits in 7.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 110 pitches, 67 for strikes.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 17 at Rangers Ballpark, won 15-3; 3 earned runs on 8 hits in 7.0 innings; 5 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 home run, 97 pitches, 60 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: 1-1, 2.49 ERA in 5 games, including 3 starts, covering 21.2 innings; 17 strikeouts, 7 walks, 1 home run, 1.33 WHIP.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: 0-1, 5.40 ERA in 2 games, including 1 start, covering 5.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 3 walks, 0 home runs, 1.80 WHIP.
- LOVE TO FACE: Kendrys Morales (0-for-5, .000), Henry Blanco (0-for-4, .000), Michael Saunders (0-for-3, .000).
- HATES TO FACE: Raul Ibanez (3-for-6, .500), Brad Miller (2-for-4, .500), Kyle Seager (4-for-11, .364).
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. PEREZ: 19-for-72, .264 BA, 14 strikeouts, 7 walks, 1 home runs, .329 on-base percentage.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
- CURRENT HOME STAND: Three vs. L.A. Angels (Friday-Sunday), three vs. Texas (Monday-Wednesday). The home stand begins a series of 20 games in 20 days. Following the home stand, the Mariners play four at Houston and four at Kansas City before returning to Safeco Field Sept. 6. The Mariners do not have a day off until Sept. 12.
- Hisashi Iwakuma, who took a no-decision Tuesday, has 19 quality starts this season, 11 of them at Safeco Field. He had seven strikeouts in the 10-inning loss to the Rangers, the 11th time this year he has had seven or more.
- Dustin Ackley, who went 3-for-3, extended his hitting streak to five games. He’s batting .400 in 18 August games with eight multi-hit games.
- Franklin Gutierrez’s home run was his first since June 22 vs. Oakland.
- Kendrys Morales recorded his 30th double of the season, the second time in his career he has surpassed that mark.
- Danny Farquhar had his streak consecutive batters retired stopped at 16. He also balked, the first by a Mariners pitcher since Hector Noesi Oct. 1, 2012 vs. the Angels.
- The Mariners went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position Tuesday and left nine runners stranded.
- Former closer Tom Wilhelmsen has an 8.71 ERA in 10.1 innings over six outings since being sent down to AAA Tacoma.
|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|