Felix Hernandez’s impressive streak may have come to an end, but facing a flat Boston Red Sox lineup should allow for a quick return to dominance.
He seeks his first road victory in seven tries Friday night when the Seattle Mariners begin a three-game series at Fenway Park.
Hernandez (13-4, 1.99 ERA) snapped his record streak of 16 straight outings with at least seven innings while yielding two runs or fewer in Saturday’s 4-2 loss at Detroit. He was hit by two balls in play, prompting manager Lloyd McClendon to yank him after five innings in which he allowed seven hits – his most in 13 starts – and two runs. He also hit a batter for just the fourth time.
"I’m fine – I’m going to live," Hernandez said. "I was throwing a lot of pitches tonight, especially at the beginning of the game. I wasn’t missing by much. The streak’s over, but I’ll start a new one soon."
Another streak Hernandez will be looking to end is a six-start road stretch without a victory. He hasn’t won away from home since June 2 against the Yankees, posting a 1.54 ERA but receiving five runs of support.
The right-hander has four wins in his last five starts against Boston, working at least seven innings and allowing less than three runs in each of the last four, including a 12-3 home victory June 23 as he gave up two runs in seven innings.
The Mariners (68-58) took two of three from the Red Sox (56-71) in June, outscoring them 24-10. Kyle Seager is batting .463 with five home runs and 13 RBIs during a 13-game hitting streak against the Red Sox while Logan Morrison is 13 for 29 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine career games versus Boston.
Seattle has dropped three of five after winning nine of 10, and it’s 8-10 in its last 18 on the road.
The Red Sox have lost five in a row while averaging 1.8 runs and going 2 for 42 with runners in scoring position. They were held hitless for 6 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 2-0 loss to the Angels until Will Middlebrooks’ seventh-inning double, which stood as their only hit.
Further hamstringing Boston’s offense could be the potential absence of Yoenis Cespedes, who ranks second on the club with 13 RBIs since being acquired from Oakland. Cespedes left Thursday’s game in the third inning due to what Farrell called a family emergency, and Farrell told MLB’s official website the Red Sox are "hopeful" that he’ll play Friday.
Joe Kelly (0-1, 5.29) had a 2.08 ERA in his first two starts after being acquired from St. Louis at the trade deadline, but he allowed a career-high seven runs in four innings of an 8-1 loss to Houston on Sunday. Kelly gave up five of those runs on two homers and also issued a career-worst six walks in his first game at Fenway Park.
"I wasn’t nervous, it was just a terrible game,” said Kelly, who has never faced Seattle.