Felix Hernandez has looked dominant for almost a month. He's usually been very good in the Bronx over the course of his career.
Seattle's ace looks to continue his recent success and help the Seattle Mariners snap a six-game road skid Friday night in the opener of a weekend series against the New York Yankees.
Hernandez (3-1, 1.89 ERA) has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts this season. He's yielded two runs, 15 hits and struck out 32 over 31 innings while going 2-0 in his last four outings.
"He's got so many different pitches and he hides the ball good and keeps it down," Minnesota bench coach Scott Ullger said after his club lost to Hernandez on Saturday. "If you got four above-average major league pitches and you got command like him, he's going to be tough to hit, and that's what he has right now."
The 2010 AL Cy Young award winner allowed one hit and fanned nine over eight innings of the 7-0 home win over the Twins.
"Just vintage Felix,' Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "Just mixing his pitches and doing a good job of working ahead for the most part."
Hernandez is 4-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his career in the Bronx, and has given up one run, 11 hits and struck out 27 in 24 innings while winning all three of his starts at the new Yankee Stadium. Hernandez allowed that run in seven innings of work July 27, helping Seattle snap a 17-game overall losing streak with a 9-2 victory.
Now, he will be trying to help the Mariners (15-18) snap their longest skid away from home since ending a 13-game road losing streak with that victory at Yankee Stadium in late July. Seattle is batting .219 and has totaled 12 runs during its six consecutive road losses.
However, the Mariners have won four of five overall after taking consecutive home series from Minnesota and Detroit. John Jaso's tiebreaking single in the eighth inning helped give Seattle a 2-1 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday.
Third baseman Kyle Seager, who drove in Seattle's first run, has hit .349 with 13 RBIs in his last 12 games.
The Mariners face New York's Hiroki Kuroda (2-4, 3.75), who allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-2 loss June 28, 2009, in his only appearance against them while with the Dodgers.
Though the right-hander has battled inconsistency overall thus far in his first season in New York, he's 2-1 at home - allowing one run and nine hits over 15 innings in those two victories.
Kuroda gave up three runs and walked three while lasting 4 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss at Kansas City on Saturday.
"My role as a starter is to go as deep as I can into the game," Kuroda told the Yankees' official website. "I couldn't, so it was really frustrating.
"I can still keep the game close and have our team get a chance to win the game."
New York (17-14) enters the weekend after winning two of three against Tampa Bay. Robinson Cano had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Curtis Granderson added a solo shot in Thursday's 5-3 victory.
Cano is batting .375 with two home runs in his last eight games, and .355 with two homers in 31 career at_bats against Hernandez.
Mariners catcher Jesus Montero will be facing the Yankees for the first time since being dealt to Seattle in the offseason. Acquired for currently injured pitcher Michael Pineda in a four-player deal, Montero is batting .268 with four home runs and 16 RBIs.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved