Felix Hernandez attempts to stretch his winning streak to seven games when theSeattle Mariners conclude a three-game series with the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. Hernandez hasn’t lost since June 12 to the San Diego Padres and has given up two or fewer runs in nine of his last 11 starts. Seattle notched a dramatic ninth-inning victory against dominant closer Fernando Rodney on Tuesday to halt Tampa Bay’s season-best seven-game winning streak.
The Rays are six games behind the New York Yankees in the American League East. Tampa Bay infielder Jeff Keppinger had two hits Tuesday for his fourth multihit outing in six games. Eric Thames had the game-winning hit for the Mariners after striking out his first three times. Thames is batting .214 with 14 strikeouts in 42 at-bats since being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays. Hernandez and Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson both received no-decisions when facing one another on April 30 in a game Tampa Bay won 3-2 in 12 innings.
Rays Mariners Betting
When: 3:40 PM ET, Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: 3:40 p.m. ET, SUN (Tampa Bay), ROOT (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 3.52 ERA) vs. Mariners RH Felix Hernandez (10-5, 2.74)
Hellickson is 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA in four career starts against Seattle. He allowed just one run and six hits in seven innings in the April start against the Mariners. Hellickson has won three of his last four starts. He beat the Minnesota Twins in his last outing while giving up three runs and seven hits in five innings.
Hernandez has a 1.71 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break. He took a no-decision in his last outing after letting a 5-0 lead get away against the Los Angeles Angels. Hernandez gave up five runs (four earned) and five hits in seven innings. He allowed just one run and five hits in eight innings in the April outing against the Rays. Hernandez is 3-2 with a 2.28 ERA in 10 career starts against Tampa Bay.
1. Rays OF B.J. Upton is batting just .107 with 10 strikeouts in 28 career at-bats against Hernandez.
2. Seattle 1B Justin Smoak is back in the majors after Mike Carp (hip) was placed on the disabled list. Smoak hit the game-tying sacrifice fly on Tuesday.
3. Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist has started at shortstop in five of the past six games, the position he played when he reached the majors in 2006. He is just 3-for-22 against Hernandez.