Hernandez puts hot arm to test against Tribe
(SportsNetwork.com) - Felix Hernandez will try to make some history on Wednesday when the Seattle Mariners play the middle test of their three-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Hernandez has allowed two runs or less over seven innings in each of his last 13 starts, tying him with Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, who set the major league mark with the New York Mets back in 1971.
Hernandez is 7-1 in that span with a 1.36 ERA.
"It means a lot for myself, but I don't care about myself," Hernandez said. "I just care about the team."
Hernandez is winless in his last two starts, but it has been through no fault of his own, as he has allowed just one earned run in 14 innings of those starts. He did not get a decision on Friday against Baltimore, as he surrendered one run and struck out 10 over seven innings of his team's 2-1 loss.
The 2010 American League Cy Young winner has been tremendous this season, going 11-2 with a 1.99 ERA. He is second in the AL in ERA, WHIP (0.891) and strikeouts (173).
"His preparation is second to none," said manager Lloyd McClendon. "His conditioning is probably second to none. And on top of all of that, he's a pretty darn good teammate. It's a nice combination to have."
Hernandez is 7-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 15 starts against the Indians, but hasn't had much success in Cleveland, posting a 3-5 mark to go along with a 4.50 ERA.
Cleveland, meanwhile, will turn to an impressive right-hander of its own in Corey Kluber, who is 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA. Kluber had perhaps the best start of his career on Thursday in Kansas City, as he struck out 10 and gave up just one unearned run on two hits in nine innings, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 2-1, 14-inning loss.
"We've seen Klubes pitch really well this year, but that was [impressive]," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I wish we had some runs, so you can sit back and really enjoy it, because that was pretty special, what he was doing. You can pick all the adjectives you want. He really pitched."
In his past four starts, Kluber is 3-0 with a 1.97 ERA over 32 innings.
Seattle drew first blood in this series on Tuesday, as Dustin Ackley's two- run double helped the Mariners to a 5-2 victory. Ackley finished 3-for-5 with a run scored and Mike Zunino homered and scored twice for the Mariners, who snapped a string of six straight losses at Progressive Field.
"Guys came out and put some nice at-bats together," McClendon said. "Hopefully, this can jumpstart us."
Hisashi Iwakuma (9-5) earned the win after yielding just two runs on six hits with six strikeouts over seven strong innings.
Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes each drove in a run for Cleveland, which has dropped five of its last six games. Starter Trevor Bauer (4-6) was tagged with the loss after giving up all five runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 frames.
"All we need to do is find ways to put that streak together," Francona said. "The only way we really know to do that is to win the game at hand."
The Mariners took two of three from the Tribe during a three-game series in Seattle last month.
07/30 10:53:59 ET