Indians-Mariners Preview

Felix Hernandez was as good as can be the last time he took the

mound, tossing the majors’ third perfect game this season and the

first in Seattle Mariners history.

He was anything but perfect the last time he faced the Cleveland

Indians.

Hernandez looks to help Seattle win its season high-tying

seventh straight game while running his personal unbeaten streak to

13 and avenging one of his season’s worst outings when the Mariners

host the slumping Indians on Tuesday night.

The superstar known as King Felix struck out 12 and retired all

27 hitters in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Tampa Bay, joining Chicago’s

Philip Humber and San Francisco’s Matt Cain in tossing perfect

games in 2012.

Hernandez (11-5, 2.60 ERA) hasn’t lost since June 12 while going

7-0 with a 1.56 ERA over his last 12 starts.

”Just keep throwing the way I’ve been throwing,” Hernandez

said. ”Just do my job. Try and help my team to win. That’s what is

next.”

The right-hander, though, wasn’t nearly as good the last time he

faced Cleveland, giving up a season-high eight runs in 3 2-3

innings of a 9-3 loss May 16. He was 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his

previous three starts versus the Indians, tossing eight scoreless

innings in Seattle’s 2-1 loss April 19.

This time, Hernandez will look to help Seattle (59-64) win for

the 14th time in 15 tries at Safeco Field after it beat Cleveland

5-3 on Monday.

Michael Saunders hit a pair of two-run homers for the Mariners,

who can match their season-best seven-game winning streak set July

26-Aug. 1 with a victory Tuesday.

Saunders is 8 for 16 with three homers over his last four games

after going 1 for 35 over his previous eight.

”Baseball is a grind, it’s a process,” Saunders said. ”I just

have to believe in my process. The slump was longer than I hoped

for but there’s going to be ups and downs in this game.”

Cleveland has experienced mostly downs lately.

The Indians (54-68) have dropped six straight and 19 of their

last 23 following Monday’s defeat. They’ve also lost 16 of 17 on

the road.

Jason Kipnis hit a two-run homer and said the team held a

players-only meeting prior to the game but refused to discuss the

details.

“We’ve got to play better baseball,” Kipnis told the team’s

official website. “Offense, defense, pitching, everything. We’ve

got to play better. It’s not a lack of effort. It’s not a lack of

concentration. The team’s out there trying, fighting.”

Cleveland will look to end its stretch of futility with the help

of Roberto Hernandez, who will be making his second start of the

season.

Hernandez (0-1, 7.50), formerly known as Fausto Carmona, had a

rough season debut Wednesday, giving up eight runs in six innings

of an 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

The right-hander was reinstated by the Indians after visa issues

prevented him from entering the U.S. He was charged with having

dual identities in his native Dominican Republic.

“It felt good. I was throwing every pitch, trying to make it go

down and get ground balls,” Hernandez told the team’s official

website. “I left a little bit up, tried to throw a few strikes,

left them up and they hit them.”

Despite Monday’s defeat, the Indians have won 12 of the last 16

meetings with the Mariners in Seattle.