What to Watch: Indians face King Felix in finale of Seattle series

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. 

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After Josh Tomlin’s one-hitter on Saturday, the Indians try to take the weekend series from Seattle and go above .500 on the eight-game road trip today. It will be a difficult task though as the Tribe faces one of the top pitchers in the American League.

Felix Hernandez (9-2, 2.24) is fourth in the American League in wins, second in innings pitched (120 1/3) and tied for third in strikeouts (128), The Mariners right-hander is 6-5 with a 3.25 ERA in 14 starts against the Indians but at Safeco Field he is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in five games.

Coming into today’s game, Hernandez is 5-1 with a 1.48 ERA in his past 10 starts. Last Monday against the Red Sox he pitched seven innings and allowed only two runs en route to the win. His only loss during the span was June 13 against Teas when an inherited runner scored in the ninth off the bullpen.

The Indians will counter with T.J. House, who has been recalled from Columbus after Justin Masterson was scratched earlier in the week due to a nagging problem with his right knee. House (0-1, 4.38) is making his sixth start and seventh appearance of the season. To make room for House, the Indians optioned Nick Hagadone to the Clippers. Masterson’s bullpen session on Saturday went well and he is expected to start on Tuesday against the Dodgers.

Indians Live starts at 3:30 p.m. on SporstTime Ohio. Here are other things to watch for in today’s game:


GOOD TRIP: Jason Kipnis has gone 7 for 18 with four doubles and an RBI during the road trip and has raised his batting average from .241 to .254.

SEVEN STRAIGHT: Michael Bourn has hit safely in his past seven games and is 15 of 44 over the past 10. He has scored 10 runs over that span. Bourn has a hit in eight of the nine games he has faced the Mariners, including five multi-hit games.

ALL-STAR RESUME: Since June 9, Michael Brantley has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games with eight multi-hit games.

SLUMPING: David Murphy has just one hit in his last 36 at-bats and two in the past 44.

INDIANS VS. HERNANDEZ: David Murphy 24-75, 3 HR; Nick Swisher 11-51, 4 HR; Michael Brantley 8-20, HR; Asdrubal Cabrera 3-17; Mike Aviles 7-17; Carlos Santana 3-14; Jason Kipnis 6-14; Ryan Raburn 0-6; George Kottaras 2-5, HR; Michael Bourn 2-3; Lonnie Chisenhall 1-3.

STREAKING: Mariners’ third baseman Kyle Seager has hit in nine straight home games. He is 20 of 34 during the streak with six doubles, three home runs and 16 RBI.