Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) -
If the Seattle Mariners intend on challenging the Oakland Athletics in the American League West this season, this weekend would be a nice jumping off point.
And who better to have on the hill than Felix Hernandez, as the Mariners kick off a three-game series versus the A's at Safeco Field.
Seattle, which is nine games back of Oakland in the division, pushed Hernandez back a day so he would be able to start this set. The right-hander has been nearly flawless this season and is in the midst of a franchise-record 10 consecutive starts of at least seven innings while allowing two earned runs or less. He is 6-1 with a 1.40 ERA over that span.
"You want your best pitchers facing your division rivals," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Those are the guys in front of us. I'd be foolish if I didn't want Felix facing Oakland and Anaheim."
Same old story in Seattle
By Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
The Seattle Mariners could head into the All-Star break holding one of the two wild card spots in the American League.
But if they plan on maintaining that spot, they are going to have to do something about an offense that has been, well, offensive.
Seattle was shut out for the second time in three games on Tuesday and has been blanked 11 times this season, one fewer than Tampa Bay and San Diego for most in the majors.