Felix Hernandez eyes a fifth straight winning decision on Wednesday when the Seattle Mariners continue a three-game series with the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Hernandez, though, has not received a decision in either of his last two starts and hasn't pitched since not factoring in a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh last Wednesday. Hernandez gave up two runs and six hits and struck out 11 in that one.
"I had pretty good command on my fastball and the breaking ball was a little better," Hernandez said.
It was a far better effort than the seven runs (6 earned) and 12 hits over five innings he surrendered to the Angels in his previous start. Still, he is 8-4 on the year with a 2.70 ERA.
Hernandez may be up against it on Wednesday, as the Rangers have traditionally given the former American League Cy Young Award winner fits. He is a mere 12-18 lifetime against them with a 3.87 ERA in 36 starts. He lost to the Rangers the last time he faced them and was pounded for five runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Texas, meanwhile, will turn to lefty Derek Holland, who was terrific in beating the New York Yankees on Thursday. Holland tossed a two-hit shutout in that one to win for the first time in five starts and improved to 6-4, while lowering his ERA to 3.14.
Holland beat Seattle the last time he faced it and is an impressive 8-2 lifetime against the Mariners with a 3.39 ERA.
In Tuesday's opener, Kendrys Morales homered twice and drove in six runs to power Seattle to a 9-2 win.
Raul Ibanez also went deep to back 6 2/3 strong innings from Joe Saunders (6-8), who allowed 10 hits and a pair of runs -- one earned -- while fanning five.
Justin Grimm (7-6) was charged with seven hits and six runs -- five earned -- over four-plus innings for the Rangers, who lost for just the third time in their last 12 contests.
Texas has won seven of the 11 head-to-head meetings with Seattle so far this season.