Few teams have given the Detroit Tigers as much trouble at home as the Seattle Mariners the past couple of years.
Today, the Tigers try to avoid a three-game sweep and their ninth loss in 11 home meetings against the Mariners in the finale of their set at Comerica Park.
After winning Tuesday's opener, Seattle made it two in a row on Wednesday, as Felix Hernandez posted his 10 consecutive quality start against Detroit, tossing seven frames in the Mariners' 9-1 triumph.
"It was incredible how he was able to work through things," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of his starter. "They were making him work, and he had to fight through it, and he just never gave in to it."
Hernandez (2-1) allowed one run on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts, as he moved to 9-0 in his last 10 starts against Detroit. The last player to win nine decisions in a row against the Tigers was Dennis Lamp in 1989.
Alex Liddi belted a two-run homer, Dustin Ackley had three hits and three runs batted in, and Jesus Montero drove in two runs in the victory. The Mariners had lost four in a row coming into this series.
Adam Wilk (0-3) suffered yet another loss after allowing six runs on eight hits over just two-plus innings. Brennan Boesch hit his third homer of the season in the losing effort.
"I was rushing through everything a little bit too much today, wasn't giving myself time to get back and my arm [to] catch up. That kind of resulted in the ball being flat and up in the zone," said Wilk.
Getting the call for Seattle this afternoon will be right-hander Hector Noesi, who is 1-2 with a lofty 9.49 ERA. After throwing eight scoreless innings in his previous start Noesi failed to get out of the second inning his last time out, as the Chicago White Sox pounded him for six runs in just 1 1/3 frames.
"Everything is in your mind," Noesi said. "When you say something, that's going to happen. So I have to take everything from the good start and take it to the new start."
This will be his first-ever start against the Tigers, who will counter with right-hander Rick Porcello.
Like Noesi, Porcello enters today's contest on the heels of the worst start of his career and was roughed up badly his last time out, as the Texas Rangers reached him for nine runs (eight earned) and 10 hits in just an inning of work. The loss dropped him to 1-1 on the year, while skyrocketing his ERA nearly five runs to 6.32.
Porcello had surrendered only three earned runs in 14 2/3 frames of his first two starts.
"The only adjustment we talked about [last Saturday] was to slow down," Porcello said. "There was maybe a couple pitches or a couple batters where I got a little quick and the ball stayed up, but for the most part I was just trying to go out there and establish our game plan, and it just wasn't working.
"That was pretty much it. I've got to be [able] to recognize what's going on in the game if I want to be able to pitch deep into the game."
Porcello has faced the Mariners five times and is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA against them.
The Mariners have won 13 of their last 20 matchups with the Tigers with eight of those victories coming in the Motor City.