|7:10 PM PT8:10 PM MT9:10 PM CT10:10 PM ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 PM MST9:10 PM EST9:40 PM VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 PM CT, September 20, 2017
Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 15,962
Mariners hope Felix is King against Rangers
Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners
- The Rangers lost two out of three games on the road against the Angels. They are now 1-5 over their last six games and 3-8 over their past 11 games.
- The Mariners were swept in Houston over the weekend after being swept by the Astros in their previous matchup at the beginning of September. Seattle is 5-14 (.263) against the Astros, but 27-21 (.563) against the rest of the AL West.
- Seattle is 11-5 against the Rangers this season and averaging 5.56 runs per game against Texas. This is the most runs per game Seattle has averaged in a single season against Texas since scoring 5.95 runs per game in 2007.
- Martin Perez has a 1.56 WHIP this season. Among ERA qualifiers, Perez's ERA ranks third highest in MLB behind Jordan Zimmerman (1.58), and Kevin Gausman (1.56).
- Since joining the Mariners on September 1, Mike Leake is 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA, and 8.20 strikeouts per nine in three starts with the team. Leake was 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA, and 6.02 strikeouts per nine in 26 starts with the Cardinals.
- Nelson Cruz has 33 home runs, 110 RBI, and is slugging .533 on the season. Since 2014, he has accumulated 160 homers (most in MLB), 416 RBI (third most), and is slugging .545 (sixth best, minimum 1500 plate appearances).
- Astros blank Yankees, reach World Series
- Cubs fire pitching coach Bosio
- ALCS MVP Verlander's decision pays off
- Giants reassign Righetti to front office
- Sabathia unable to save Yanks this time
SEATTLE -- With the season running down and each game becoming increasingly more important, Seattle Mariners ace right-hander Felix Hernandez will make the next step in his return from a shoulder injury.
Hernandez, who was sidelined for the month of August with bursitis in his pitching shoulder, will take the mound Wednesday night as the Mariners face the Texas Rangers.
With the playoff hopes of the Mariners and Rangers on tenuous ground -- the Rangers are 3 1/2 games back of the Minnesota Twins in the chase for the second American League wild card, and the Mariners four back with less than two weeks to play -- it is a big moment for the former AL Cy Young Award winner.
And with Seattle in the midst of a four-game losing streak, King Felix needs to get back to his best in a hurry.
"I wish we were a little closer to the head of the pack, where Minnesota and the Angels are right now," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "But we are where we are. Every game is, 'Win tonight.' I said it last homestand, and I'm really saying it this homestand, too. That's the only thing you can concern yourself with."
Rangers manager Jeff Banister made it clear Tuesday that he had the wild card in his sights. He is not yet looking to give his younger players an extended trial.
"We've got 13 games to go," he said before Texas' 3-1 win over the Mariners on Tuesday. "It's about winning baseball games and closing games out, whoever goes out there."
Hernandez made his return to action against the Rangers on Thursday, allowing one run and three hits in 3 2/3 innings of the Mariners' 10-4 victory.
Servais said his ace probably would get a longer leash Wednesday, somewhere in the 70-80 pitch range.
"No real hard pitch count," Servais said. "We'll see where he's at. I can't imagine he'll go 100 pitches."
For the season, Hernandez is 5-4 with a 4.19 ERA in 77 1/3 innings. He has had some success against several Rangers regulars, notably Rougned Odor (.167 in 30 career at-bats) and former Mariner Shin-Soo Choo (.222 in 54 career at-bats). Elvis Andrus has held his own however, hitting .290 in 100 career at-bats.
The best sign for Seattle: The Mariners have won all three of Hernandez's starts against Texas this season, and he went 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA in those games. Hernandez is 19-23 with a 3.92 ERA in 53 career starts versus the Rangers.
He will be facing Andrew Cashner (9-10, 3.40), who was tagged with the loss Thursday, when he gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Banister said the right-hander has been one of the Texas rotation's go-to guys this season.
"At times, he was the guy we looked toward to go out and put together the better starts for us," the manager said. "A little bit of a slow start because of injuries coming out of spring training, but we've seen the fastball beginning to creep back up to what we've seen in the past."
Kyle Seager has hit Cashner well, batting .333 in 18 at-bats with two home runs in his career as the only current Mariner to have taken him deep. Nelson Cruz is 5-for-11 against Cashner, who is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts against Seattle this season and 1-4, 3.98 in eight career games (seven starts) vs. the Mariners.
Updated September 20, 2017
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Published: 2015-05-28 13:51:00
Updated: 2016-07-13 10:41:59
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