American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, June 28th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (40-35) at Seattle Mariners (32-45), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Franklin Morales (1-1, 3.12)
Seattle - Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.36)
(Sports Network) - Felix Hernandez is starting to resemble the pitcher who won
an American League Cy Young Award in 2010. He shoots for a third straight
quality start this evening when the Seattle Mariners open a four-game set
against the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field.
Hernandez has struggled at times this season, but has looked like his dominant
self his last two times out. After giving up a run in seven innings of a no-
decision on June 17, Hernandez beat the San Diego Padres on Saturday, limiting
them to just a run and six hits in seven frames, while striking out 10.
"I think Felix understands where he's at," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "I
know he wants to be better and should be better, and he will be. I think the
last two outings have been better. He's not to where he's totally locked in
yet, but he's definitely on his way to approaching that."
Hernandez has had success against the Red Sox, posting a 5-2 mark to go along
with a 3.55 ERA in 11 starts.
Seattle could use a big start from its ace after dropping two of three to the
Oakland Athletics, including a 2-1 loss on Wednesday. John Jaso provided the
only offense with a home run for the Mariners, who have dropped three of their
last four games.
Kevin Millwood got the start for the M's and allowed one run on one hit before
being pulled with a groin injury in the third inning. Hisashi Iwakuma (1-1)
took over and allowed one run on one hit with two walks and three strikeouts
in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.
Boston, meanwhile, enters this series playing, perhaps, its best baseball of
the season. The Red Sox won for the ninth time in 11 tries on Wednesday, as
Adrian Gonzalez had three RBI and Boston rode a six-run first inning in a 10-4
rout of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Mike Aviles went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI while David Ortiz homered
and walked three times for the Red Sox, who are a season-best five games over
Jon Lester (5-5) got the win, allowing four runs on seven hits over seven
innings. He struck out four and did not issue a walk.
"He hasn't been getting runs," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "We got
him runs right off the bat and he did the rest. He threw the ball very well
Getting the call for the Red Sox tonight will be lefty Franklin Morales, who
has been impressive in his two starts filling in for the injured Josh Beckett.
Morales beat the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, holding them to two earned runs
in six innings to even his record at 1-1 to go along with a 3.12 ERA.
"I feel really confident in myself," said Morales, who's struck out 17 over 11
innings in his starts. "I think it's good for me to be starting."
This will be his first-ever start against the Mariners, but has faced them
three times out of the bullpen and has surrendered three runs in two innings
of those outings.
Boston swept a two-game set from the Mariners earlier in the year at Fenway
Park, outscoring them 11-1.
06/28 10:51:10 ET