Mariners, Hernandez look to bounce back against Angels (Jul 28, 2018)
Felix Hernandez has not delivered the type of season he is used to, but he should have positive memories when he visits the Los Angeles Angels.
The longtime Seattle Mariners right-hander is scheduled to start on Saturday evening against the Angels in the second game of a three-game series at Angel Stadium.
The Angels (53-52) won the series opener 4-3 on Kole Calhoun's first career walk-off home run.
The Mariners (61-42) missed a chance to win two in a row for the first time since taking eight straight June 25-July 3.
Hernandez (8-8, 5.14 ERA) is trying to avoid his first losing season since 2008. His ERA is already nearly two runs higher than his career mark of 3.28.
The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner was on the 10-day disabled list because of lower-back stiffness before returning on Saturday, when he threw five innings against the Chicago White Sox, allowing four runs (three earned) and five hits in the 5-0 loss.
"Definitely a step forward," Seattle manager Scott Servais told the Seattle Times. "I thought his stuff looked much crisper than the last two or three starts he had before we put him on the disabled list. I'm encouraged by that."
Hernandez should feel encouraged against the Angels. After all, they've played a big part in forming his career highlight reel.
He threw his first complete game at Angel Stadium on June 11, 2006. Two months later against the Angels, Hernandez earned his first career shutout. Nearly 10 years after that accomplishment, he recorded his 150th victory in Anaheim.
His 2.99 career ERA at Angel Stadium is tops among pitchers who haven't played for the Los Angeles.
Hernandez will be making his second start against the Angels this season and first on their home field. He struggled against the Los Angeles lineup in an 8-2 loss in Seattle on May 6, giving up five runs, seven hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Overall in his career, he is 16-17 against the Angels with a 3.43 ERA in 52 starts.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout has dominated Hernandez since coming into the league in 2011, hitting .370 in 81 at-bats with seven home runs and 19 RBIs.
Hernandez will be opposed Angels rookie right-hander Jaime Barria (5-7, 3.80), who will be making his third start against the Mariners this month and fourth since June 12.
Like Hernandez, Barria is also coming off a loss to the White Sox. He went five innings against them on Monday, giving up four runs and four hits in the 5-3 loss, dropping him to 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA in his past seven starts.
Three of those losses have come against Seattle, but the Angels have supported him with just two runs during the 15 2/3 innings he was on the mound. Barria allowed eight runs (seven earned) in those three games.
Barria turned 22 earlier this month.
"Jaime will continue to grow," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times. "He's a young pitcher. His experience is going to make him better from start to start. He's holding his own, for sure."
Seattle right fielder Mitch Haniger is 3-for-5 off Barria with two home runs.