|Mariners' Hernandez to start 20th career game vs. White Sox|
The ace known as "King Felix" is about to add another opponent to his 20-start club.
On Wednesday, Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez will face the Chicago White Sox for the 20th time in his 14-season career. The White Sox will become the fifth team to go up against Hernandez at least 20 times, joining the Texas Rangers (55), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (51), Oakland A's (47) and New York Yankees (21).
Unlike most teams, the White Sox have had a decent amount of success against the six-time All-Star and 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner. Hernandez heads into the game with a 6-6 record and 3.72 ERA in 125 2/3 innings against Chicago. He has allowed 19 home runs in 19 starts.
Seattle (12-10) is hoping for a strong performance from its veteran leader in order to win the series against Chicago (5-15). The White Sox won Monday's series opener 10-4 before the Mariners responded with a 1-0 victory on Tuesday to set up a rubber match at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Five times in the last seven games, Seattle's pitchers have given up at least seven runs. Inconsistency has plagued Hernandez as well as the rest of the staff. He is 2-2 with a 5.06 ERA in five starts this year.
"We need to get more innings out of our starting pitching," Mariners manager Scott Servais told the team's official website. "Ultimately, to put (winning) streaks together, you have to have consistent starting pitching that can keep you in the game."
The White Sox want to see a quality start from right-hander James Shields, who much like Hernandez has great career statistics but has slipped in the past couple seasons. The 36-year-old has posted a 1-2 record with a 6.17 ERA in five games (four starts) on the season.
In 18 career starts against Seattle, Shields is 5-7 with a 4.59 ERA. He has given up 23 home runs in those outings but has struck out 111 batters in 117 2/3 innings.
This season has not started well for the White Sox, who have lost eight of their past nine games. Frustrations bubbled over Tuesday as manager Rick Renteria was ejected for the first time this season and for the 15th time in his career after he argued balls and strikes.
White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson said he appreciated his manager's competitive fire.
"He backs us 100 percent," Davidson said to the Chicago Tribune. "It feels good to have a manager who will do that for you. We all love him, and so do I."
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson will try to build positive momentum off a two-hit performance Tuesday. He is hitting .267 with three home runs, five RBIs and eight stolen bases in 20 games.
For the Mariners, right fielder Mitch Haniger continues to swing a hot bat. The 27-year-old homered in four consecutive games from Friday through Monday, and on Tuesday he drove in the game's only run. He is hitting .321 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs in 22 games.
Seattle is 7-5 on the road this season. Chicago is 2-9 at home.