The reigning AL Cy Young award winner looks to continue his recent success against Texas and help the Seattle Mariners avoid a sweep by the undefeated Rangers on Wednesday afternoon in Arlington.
Hernandez recorded a career-high six complete games en route to winning the Cy Young with 13 victories and a 2.27 ERA last season. He earned his 14th career complete game Friday, giving up five hits and striking out two without a walk in Seattle’s 6-2 victory at Oakland.
The Mariners (2-3) likely will need another top performance out of their ace to avoid a fourth consecutive loss overall and a series sweep at the hands of the Rangers, who have totaled 35 runs while starting 5-0.
Hernandez is a middling 10-12 with a 3.89 ERA lifetime against Texas, but has won his last two starts versus the Rangers while limiting them to two runs and eight hits over 16 innings.
The Rangers (5-0) didn’t need many runs to remain undefeated Tuesday, beating the Mariners 3-2. Mitch Moreland(notes) had two hits and an RBI while Josh Hamilton(notes) and Michael Young(notes) drove in the other runs for the defending AL champions.
“It’s important to keep the big picture in mind,” Young told the Rangers’ official website. “The focus and the energy has been great. That’s what we want to continue.”
Young is 6 for 16 in the last four games following a hitless season opener. He is a lifetime .304 hitter against Hernandez. Hamilton, however, is batting .194 with eight strikeouts versus Hernandez.
After Alexi Ogando(notes) pitched six scoreless innings in his first major league start Tuesday, C.J. Wilson(notes) will try to avoid losing his third consecutive start to Seattle in the series finale.
Wilson might have to be better than he was in the season opener. The left-hander gave up four runs in 5 2-3 innings Friday, not factoring in the decision of a 9-5 win over Boston.
Texas’ starting pitchers have a 2.64 ERA so far in 2011.