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Seattle at Toronto

Venue: Rogers Centre
  •  

After getting off to a so-so start, Felix Hernandez is back to being a dominant pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. That has hardly been the case when he's faced the Toronto Blue Jays in his career.

Hernandez has been pounded in his last two starts against Toronto, but he enters Friday night's opener of a three-game series on his best run of 2013.

The right-hander went 1-2 with a 3.05 ERA in his first three outings this season before turning things around over his last three. He's 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA over that span, allowing 15 hits and two walks while striking out 28 in 22 innings.

Hernandez (3-2, 1.90 ERA) gave up one earned run and five hits in eight innings to beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on Saturday.

"Like always, he throw an invisible ball. It's unbelievable," catcher Jesus Montero said. "He settled in so great."

Hernandez's pitches haven't been so invisible to the Blue Jays. He's gone 3-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine starts against them - easily his highest ERA versus a team he's faced more than once - and his last two matchups have been particularly one-sided.

Hernandez has allowed seven runs in each outing while giving up 22 hits over 10 innings. He lasted four innings and lost 8-3 at Toronto on Sept. 13 in his last start in the series.

He'll be looking to end those struggles while helping the Mariners (13-17) stay hot. They beat Baltimore 8-3 on Wednesday for their fifth victory in seven games following a 2-7 stretch.

"I feel like our guys have taken significant steps and what you are seeing now is more the norm in regard to what our guys are capable of," manager Eric Wedge said. "The way we're going to go about doing it is to be a complete team and to be able to count on all areas of our club."

Michael Morse hit his third homer in four games, a two-run shot, to become the first Mariner to have nine home runs in the team's first 30 games since Mike Cameron in 2002. Morse is 6 for 15 with four RBIs in the past four games.

Seattle now plays five straight and 14 of 17 on the road, where it has lost seven of eight.

The Mariners were scheduled to face Josh Johnson on Friday night, but the Blue Jays (10-19) placed him on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of inflammation in his right triceps.

Ricky Romero will take his place after struggling in spring training and beginning the season in the minors to work on his mechanics. The left-hander was an All-Star in 2011, but he went 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA in 32 starts last season.

Romero, who made one start for Class A Dunedin and allowed one run in seven innings, is 1-3 with a 3.88 ERA in eight starts against the Mariners.

"Everything we've seen, it's been really good," manager John Gibbons told the Blue Jays' official website. "... He's had a lot of work, he just hasn't had a lot of game action."

Toronto lost for the sixth time in seven games Thursday, 3-1 to Boston at home. The Blue Jays also scored once in falling to the Red Sox on Wednesday.

"If we keep beating ourselves up it's going to be a long year," third baseman Brett Lawrie said. "I think it's time we start putting stuff behind us and just come here and play baseball."

Seattle had won five in a row against the Blue Jays until they roughed up Hernandez in September.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Felix Hernandez, RHP
2013 stats
42.2 Innings Pitched 0.0
3-2 Wins-Losses 0-0
1.90 Earned Run Average ---
7 Walks 0
44 Strikeouts 0
104 Pitches Per Start 0.0
Career vs. opponent
59.2 Innings Pitched 51.0
3-4 Wins-Losses 1-3
5.13 Earned Run Average 3.88

Ricky Romero, LHP
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Seattle3rd AL West8170.53613 ½ 3-7 L 1
Toronto2nd AL East7774.51014 ½ 5-5 L 4
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Ricky Romero
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Seager64000.667
Morales83013.375
Ackley93011.333
Saunders134024.308
Montero103124.300
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Felix Hernandez
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Rasmus220101.000
Lawrie31000.333
Cabrera144012.286
Davis144015.286
Izturis5214029.269
 
Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Seattle -130 Toronto 120
Injuries
Seattle
PlayerInjury
B. BeavanShoulder
W. BloomquistKnee
R. EliasElbow
Toronto
PlayerInjury
M. CabreraFinger
M. IzturisKnee
C. JenkinsHand
D. JohnsonHamstring
B. LawrieBack
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 4TORNYY 7-3Tanaka McGowan 
Apr 5TORTOR 4-0Dickey Pineda 
Apr 6TORNYY 6-4Sabathia Hutchison 
Jun 17NYYNYY 3-1Tanaka Stroman 
Jun 18NYYNYY 7-3Whitley Buehrle 
Jun 19NYYNYY 6-4Phelps Hutchison 
Jun 23TORTOR 8-3Stroman Whitley 
Jun 24TORTOR 7-6Janssen Warren 
Jun 25TORNYY 5-3Kuroda Hutchison 
Jul 25NYYNYY 6-4Kuroda Buehrle 
Jul 26NYYTOR 6-4Hutchison Kelley 
Jul 27NYYTOR 5-4Sanchez Robertson 
Aug 29TORNYY 6-3Capuano Buehrle 
Aug 30TORTOR 2-0Hutchison Pineda 
Aug 31TORTOR 4-3Happ McCarthy 
Sep 18NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 19NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 20NYY 4:05 PM EDT  
Sep 21NYY 1:05 PM EDT