He might find their lineup a bit more difficult now that it has Orlando Cabrera in it.
The Mariners will send their top pitcher to the mound Saturday, and the Athletics hope they have an answer for him with Cabrera when the AL West rivals continue a three-game series at McAfee Coliseum.
Hernandez (1-0, 1.13 ERA) is 6-2 with a 2.17 ERA in eight outings against the Athletics over the previous two seasons, limiting them to a .217 batting average.
Oakland (2-2) is hoping that the addition of Cabrera, signed as a free agent in March, will help reverse that lack of success. Cabrera is 15-for-30 in his career against the Hernandez and that .500 average is the highest by any player with at least 20 plate appearances versus the right-hander.
Hernandez looks like he is in fine form based on his first outing. He won Monday at Minnesota, allowing one run and five hits over eight innings in a 6-1 victory, walking three and striking out six.
“That’s what we wanted out of him … to come out and pitch with some heart,” first-year manager Don Wakamatsu said.
The Mariners got a scare when Hernandez twice turned his right ankle while hustling into fielding position in the fifth inning and hobbled around the mound afterward. Though he said the pain increased as the game wore on, Hernandez retired his final 10 hitters.
“But I’m fine,” Hernandez insisted. “I’m ready for the next one.”
Hernandez is 4-2 with a 2.41 ERA in six career starts at the Coliseum, with complete games in his last two outings.
Seattle (3-2) began this series with a 5-4 victory on Friday to spoil Oakland’s home opener. The Mariners scored all their runs in the second inning, with Yuniesky Betancourt and Endy Chavez each driving in two.
Cabrera went 3-for-3 to snap out of a 2-for-13 slump to begin the season for Oakland.
The A’s weren’t able to complete a second straight late-inning comeback after they scored six runs over the final two frames in Wednesday’s 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Oakland went in order in its final two innings Friday as Mariners reliever David Aardsma got all six outs.
“I’m most happy that I did my job,” Aardsma said. “I felt like this was my first ever real opportunity. It feels good.”
Rookie Josh Outman will make his fifth career start for Oakland in his season debut. Outman started four times in six appearances last season, going 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA overall.
The left-hander, a 10th-round draft pick by Philadelphia in 2005, was acquired from the Phillies in July as part of the deal for Joe Blanton. His final start last season came at Seattle as he gave up four runs over six innings in a 4-3 loss on Sept. 28.