Seattle got an absolute gem from Felix Hernandez in Thursday's opener. Hector Noesi tries to duplicate that performance this evening when the Mariners continue a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field.
Hernandez fired his first shutout of the season and John Jaso plated the game- winning run in the ninth as the Mariners downed the Red Sox, 1-0.
Casper Wells registered the first extra-base hit of the game with a one-out double in the bottom of the ninth before Justin Smoak was intentionally walked by Scott Atchison (2-1). Jaso entered as a pinch-hitter and laced a single to right fielder Cody Ross, who fired home as Wells rounded third base.
The throw was on line, but catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was unable to corral the short hop and Wells slid in safely to give the Mariners their second win in their last three games.
"(Atchison) just left it over the plate a little bit too much," said Jaso. "I'm glad I went up there in swing mode, not really looking to see a lot of pitches."
Hernandez (6-5) matched a career-high with 13 strikeouts and allowed just five hits and one walk.
"His stuff was moving all over the place," said Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia of Hernandez. "He kept the ball out of the middle of the plate. He was pretty special tonight."
Tonight, it will be Noesi, who has lost his last six decisions and is just 2-9 on the year with a 5.50 ERA. Noesi lost his third straight start on Sunday in San Diego, despite a solid effort that saw him surrender two runs and seven hits in six innings.
"He's been inconsistent, like most first-year pitchers, but he's better than what his win-loss record is," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We just have to isolate it, like we've been doing, and recognize what he's doing from start to start and work from there."
This will be Noesi's first start against the Red Sox, but has faced them twice out of the bullpen, allowing five runs in seven innings.
Boston, meanwhile, will counter with veteran righty Aaron Cook, who is 1-1 with a 9.39 ERA. Cook returned from the disabled list to beat the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, holding them to two earned runs in his five innings of work.
"It felt really good," Cook said. "I recovered a lot better than I thought I was going to, especially since I thought I was going to have two rehab starts left. Going into (Friday), I'm just going to try to do the same thing I did last time.
"I feel like I could have gone another 25 to 30 pitches. The timing of the game, how many runs we had and everything, it was the perfect time to get me out, get me rested up and ready to go [Friday]."
Cook has never faced the Mariners.
Boston swept a two-game set from the Mariners earlier in the year at Fenway Park, outscoring them 11-1.