Madison Bumgarner targets his fourth straight win this afternoon when the San Francisco Giants complete a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Bumgarner's latest win came on Tuesday against Houston, as he allowed two runs (1 earned) and six hits and struck out 12 in 7 2/3 innings to run his record to 8-4, while lowering his ERA to 3.08.
"His stuff was unbelievable tonight." said Astros first baseman and former Giant Matt Downs.
Bumgarner also homered and improved to 13-2 in his last 16 starts at home, dating back to June 26, 2011. He has worked at least six innings in 12 consecutive outings since he lasted four innings at Arizona on April 7 in his 2012 debut.
This will be his first-ever start against Seattle, which hopes that Felix Hernandez has put his early season struggles behind him.
Hernandez is winless in his last three starts and has looked bad in all three outings, surrendering 14 runs in 17 innings. He lost to San Diego on Tuesday, as he allowed five runs and nine hits and walked three batters in six innings to fall to 4-5, while raising his ERA to 3.70.
"Disappointing, for myself," Hernandez said. "I'm tired of pitching like this. I've got to do something about this. I've got to pitch better."
The 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner is 1-4 with a 6.37 ERA over his past six starts and has given up 51 hits in 35 1/3 innings.
Hernandez has beaten the Giants both times he has faced them and has pitched to a 3.21 ERA in doing so.
The Mariners evened this series on Saturday, as Franklin Gutierrez hit a go- ahead, pinch-hit single in the sixth inning, helping Seattle take a 7-4 victory. Brendan Ryan added a two-run base hit later in the sixth, as the Mariners halted a six-game skid.
Hisashi Iwakuma (1-0) tossed two scoreless innings of relief to secure the win. Starter Kevin Millwood, who was coming off a no-decision in a combined no-hitter, was charged with four runs -- three earned -- over five frames.
Jeremy Affeldt gave up Gutierrez's go-ahead hit, but Tim Lincecum (2-8) was charged with the run and has now lost a career-high six straight games.
"He was throwing well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Lincecum's outing. "Looked like a good night for him after the first inning. I know he's taking it hard, he was pitching his heart out...it's hard to explain because he is so good at times. Then he has his hiccup innings and has a tough time staying out of the big inning."
Seattle has won 10 of its last 13 against the Giants.