The Chicago White Sox are trying for their first three-game road sweep of the Seattle Mariners in over 16 years. But to do so, they’re probably going to need to score off Felix Hernandez(notes) first.
Hernandez, who didn’t allow a run in two starts against the White Sox last season, will try to help the Mariners avoid being swept by the AL Central leaders Wednesday night.
While his record doesn’t reflect it, Hernandez (7-6, 2.90 ERA) is having another fantastic season with a career-high five complete games and the fifth-lowest ERA in the AL. He is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in his last six starts, going the distance four times and in each of his last two outings.
Hernandez will be facing the White Sox (52-41) for the first time since striking out 19 and giving up 10 hits over 15 scoreless innings last season.
The right-hander, though, may have a more difficult time against this Chicago team.
The White Sox posted a 4-0 win over Seattle (36-58) on Tuesday to take a season-high 3 1/2-game lead in the Central. They are a major league-best 28-8 since June 8.
“Cautious, that’s a good word,” infielder Omar Vizquel(notes) told the White Sox’s official website. “I think everybody is aware of the situation where we’re at right now. Every game is important in this division.”
The Mariners, who have lost 14 of 17, recorded two hits after a 6-1 defeat Monday in which they went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
A lack of offense has been a big problem when Hernandez has started. He gave up three runs and 10 hits in eight innings of a 3-2 loss to the Angels on Friday, and Seattle has scored three or fewer runs in 10 of his 20 starts.
Floyd suffered his first loss in more than a month after giving up four runs - one earned - in five innings of a 7-4 defeat to Minnesota on Friday. The right-hander had gone 3-1 with a 1.25 ERA in his previous seven starts.
Floyd allowed five runs over 6 1-3 innings against Seattle on April 23, but the White Sox picked him up with a 7-6 walkoff win. He is 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA in three starts at Safeco Field, pitching a combined 12 1-3 innings.
The White Sox expect to be without Carlos Quentin(notes) because of a bruised hand for a third straight game Wednesday, although manager Ozzie Guillen said Quentin could be in the lineup as the designated hitter.
Quentin, who is 1 for 8 with four strikeouts against Hernandez, is batting .423 with three multi-homer efforts and 15 RBIs in his last eight games.