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King Felix heads to the hill for Mariners in Chicago
(SportsNetwork.com) - Felix Hernandez goes after win No. 11 on Saturday when the Seattle Mariners continue their three-game series with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Hernandez, at 10-2, is one of five pitchers to have at least 10 wins at this point in the season. If he earns a win on Saturday he will match Detroit's Rick Porcello for the second-most in the majors behind New York's Masahiro Tanaka (12-3).
Although he does not lead the league in wins, Hernandez is right at the top of MLB in WHIP (0.919) and ERA (2.10). He is also among the top five in strikeouts (137), hits per nine innings (6.73) and innings pitched (128 1/3).
Hernandez twirled yet another gem his last time out, letting up just a single hit over eight shutout innings in a 3-0 win over Cleveland. Hernandez has not allowed more than two runs in nine straight starts and has lasted at least seven innings in each of those outings. He has worked at least six innings in all 18 starts this year and has had four games with 10 or more punch-outs.
As dominant as Hernandez has been in his career, he has had trouble against the White Sox in the past, going just 4-5 with an ERA of 3.79 against them. He only has a higher ERA against three other teams he has faced at least 10 times, with those teams being the Angels (3.80), the Rangers (4.01) and the Blue Jays (4.95).
Getting the tough task of opposing Hernandez will be White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
The 25-year-old has been solid in three seasons in Chicago and his third campaign is shaping up to be his best. Although he is just 5-7 in terms of record, he currently has an ERA of 3.44, which would be a career-best should it hold for the rest of the season.
Of course there is still plenty of baseball to be played, but if Quintana pitches as he did last time out, when he let up just three hits and struck out seven across seven shutout innings against Toronto, he will easily turn in a career year. That effort against the Blue Jays marked the third-straight start for Quintana in which he lasted seven innings and allowed two or fewer runs.
Quintana will need to reverse his luck against the Mariners to have another strong start, as he has an ERA of 6.97 in three appearances, two of which were starts, against Seattle.
In Friday's series opener, the White Sox pounded out a 7-1 victory on the back of a complete-game effort from Chris Sale.
The left-hander surrendered just a single run on six hits and struck out a season-best 12 en route to his eight win of the campaign.
Dayan Viciedo went 4-for-4 with a home run out of the cleanup spot and Jose Abreu and Paul Konerko each homered as well for the White Sox, who have won five of their last seven.
Roenis Elias was saddled with the loss for Seattle. He allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings of work.
Leadoff hitter Willie Bloomquist had two of the Mariners' six hits and Robinson Cano's double in the ninth inning was the team's only extra-base hit.
The loss ended a four-game winning streak for Seattle.
07/05 09:54:04 ET
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