Mariners-Athletics Preview

A start in Oakland might be what Seattle’s Felix Hernandez needs

to bounce back from his latest subpar effort.

The Mariners’ right-hander looks for a fourth consecutive

winning start over the A’s on Tuesday night.

Though Hernandez (8-7, 3.35 ERA) was named to his second

All-Star game, he is 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA over his last five starts.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner allowed five runs and 10 hits

in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-3 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.

“I’m not mad,” Hernandez said. “I made some good pitches (in the

last start). Just no luck.”

Hernandez has been more than lucky while going 4-0 with a 2.00

ERA in his last six starts versus Oakland. He’s allowed two runs

and struck out 26 over 24 2-3 innings of his last three against the

A’s. Hernandez opened the season by giving up two runs and going

the distance in a 6-2 win at Oakland on April 1, then allowed four

hits and fanned eight over 7 2-3 innings of a 1-0 home victory over

the A’s on April 21.

He will try to help the Mariners (42-43) win three straight for

the first time since May 25-28 after opening this three-game series

with a 2-1 victory Monday.

Though the Mariners have allowed three runs while winning three

of four, they have totaled five runs the last three contests.

Seattle has a major league-low 288 runs, and scored 11 while

splitting its last six with Oakland.

“You can’t just assume we’re going to not give up more than

three hits every game,” infielder Brendan Ryan said. “We still need

to put runs up on the board.”

Though Justin Smoak had two hits with an RBI on Monday, he’s 3

for 32 with 10 strikeouts his last 10 games. He’s 1 for 8 with four

strikeouts against scheduled starter Trevor Cahill.

Ichiro Suzuki, who had two hits in each of his last two games,

has batted .467 (7 for 15) with two doubles versus Cahill (8-6,

3.28).

While Cahill has not enjoyed the same success he did while

winning 18 games and making the All-Star team in 2010, the

right-hander has allowed two runs over 17 2-3 innings in going 2-0

in his last three starts versus Seattle.

He’s 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two starts against the Mariners this

season, and allowed one run, four hits and struck out eight in 4

2-3 innings in the opening day loss to Hernandez.

After he gave up two runs and eight hits over 15 2-3 innings to

win his two previous starts overall, Cahill allowed five runs and

nine hits in 4 2-3 of a 5-4 loss to Florida on Thursday.

“I just try to go out there and at least throw a quality start

every time, and so it’s frustrating to not even make it through

five,” Cahill told the Athletics’ official website.

Catcher Kurt Suzuki had two of the three hits Monday for

Oakland, which has lost eight of 12 since winning six in a row.

Oakland’s David DeJesus has hit .345 with three doubles and a

homer versus Hernandez, but just .138 (8 for 58) his last 22

games.