Red Sox-Mariners Preview


Though Seattle's Felix Hernandez has received little run support of late, he's pitched extremely well over the last month.

The right-hander has been just as tough on the Boston Red Sox in recent years.

Looking for another strong performance overall and against the reigning World Series champions, Hernandez tries to help the streaking Mariners avoid a seventh consecutive defeat to the visiting Red Sox on Monday night.

Hernandez (8-2, 2.22 ERA) is 4-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 62 strikeouts in his last seven starts. However, Seattle (40-36) has scored one run while he's been on the mound yielding two runs, 11 hits and striking out 31 in 22 1-3 innings to go 0-1 in his last three outings. He gave up a run and three hits while striking out 10 without a walk over seven innings of a 2-1 loss at San Diego on Wednesday.

"I don't care if I get the decision," Hernandez told the Mariners' official website. "It's not about winning for me, just as a team."

Though Hernandez has allowed one run or none while pitching seven or more innings and not factoring in the decision 28 times, manager Lloyd McClendon won't feel sorry for his ace.

"Every time we don't score runs for Felix, we can't say it's a tough game for Felix," McClendon said. "It's a tough game for the Seattle Mariners."

The Mariners have scored 18 runs with their ace on the mound while he's gone 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his last three starts versus Boston (35-41).

He's allowed a run each while totaling 25 innings in winning two of his last three home starts overall, and has a 2.35 ERA during a three-start winning streak against the Red Sox at Safeco Field. Hernandez gave up two runs in seven innings of an 11-4 home win in the teams' first meeting last season, but Boston averaged 8.5 runs while winning the next six in a row.

David Ortiz is batting .323 with a home run against Hernandez, and homered in the 10th inning of Sunday's 7-6 victory that helped Boston avoid being swept in a four-game set at Oakland.

''I like to go out there and make things happen,'' said Ortiz, who went 8 for 13 with three doubles, two homers and four RBIs at Seattle last season.

Teammate Mike Napoli, who also homered and stole home Sunday, is 6 for 36 (.167) with two doubles, a home run and 14 strikeouts versus Hernandez.

Looking for a fourth straight win overall and at home, the Mariners swept a three-game road set from a Kansas City team that began that series atop the AL Central. Roenis Elias pitched 6 2-3 strong innings Sunday during Seattle's second straight 2-1 victory.

''It shows what we're able to do when we play well," said veteran Willie Bloomquist, who is batting .375 with nine RBIs in his last 14 games.

A career .308 hitter versus Boston, Robinson Cano faces the Red Sox for the first time since leaving the rival Yankees. He's hit .379 (11 for 29) with five doubles since 2010 against Boston's John Lackey (8-4, 2.96 ERA), who is 3-1 with a 1.60 ERA in his last six starts.

The right-hander allowed three hits and struck out nine over nine scoreless innings of a 2-1, 10-inning win over Minnesota on Wednesday.

Lackey is 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his last seven starts at Seattle, though he has not pitched there since 2011.