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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, August 22 (All times Eastern)

Seattle Mariners (68-58) at Boston Red Sox (56-71), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Felix Hernandez (13-4, 1.99) Boston - Joe Kelly (0-1, 5.29)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners continue their nine-game road trip in Boston on Friday night when they kick off a three-game set with the last-place Red Sox.

The Mariners (68-58) currently sit 10 games above .500, but if the season ended today they would not be a playoff team. They share a division with the Angels and Athletics, the teams with the top two records in baseball, and are a half-game back of Detroit for the American League's second wild card spot.

Seattle began its trip by taking two of three from the Tigers in Detroit but then dropped two of three in Philadelphia earlier this week.

In Wednesday's series finale, the Mariners were on the wrong end of a 4-3 final as they could not solve the Phillies' bullpen after chasing starter Cole Hamels in five innings. Seattle's James Paxton got the hook after four innings and four runs (one earned) allowed on seven hits.

The M's were off Thursday.

Meanwhile, the reigning World Series champion Red Sox have lost five straight to fall 18 games off the pace in the AL East. They suffered a four-game sweep at Fenway Park this week against the Angels for the first time since 1962.

Boston's offense managed a mere one hit in Thursday's 2-0 loss.

The lineup will try to get it going on Friday night when Joe Kelly gets the start. In his Fenway debut against the Astros on Sunday, the right-hander issued six walks and was tagged for seven runs on seven hits.

This will be Kelly's first career start against the Mariners, and he'll be opposed by one of baseball's most dominant pitchers.

Hernandez recently set a major league record with 16 straight starts of seven- plus innings and two runs or fewer allowed. However, that streak came to an end in Detroit this past weekend as he allowed two earned runs in five innings of an eventual 4-2 loss against David Price and the Tigers.

"It's over," Hernandez said. "Start a new streak."

Despite not allowing much damage on the scoreboard, Hernandez's pitch count was at 92 and he had taken a liner off the hip in the fourth inning. The five- time All-Star leads the AL with a 1.99 ERA and 0.874 WHIP, although he is winless in his last six road starts.

The Mariners took two of three at home from the Red Sox when these teams met up back in June.

08/22 10:40:47 ET

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