Felix Hernandez quickly put his worst start of the season behind him.
Now, the Seattle Mariners , coming off one of their best offensive performances of the season, will try to give Hernandez his first win in three tries this year against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
Hernandez (8-4, 2.70 ERA) wasted little time recovering from a dismal start against the Los Angeles Angels on June 20 in which he allowed season highs of seven runs and 12 hits over five innings. He was back to his usual self last Wednesday, yielding two runs and six hits while striking out 11 in seven innings but left without a decision in a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh."I had pretty good command on my fastball and the breaking ball was a little better," Hernandez said.
Hernandez, who received just 27 runs of support over his first 11 starts, has garnered 28 while posting a 3-0 record over his last six.
On Wednesday, he'll be backed by a Mariners' offense that is coming off a nine-run display, tied for its second-best output of the season. The Mariners (36-47) managed just three runs in their first series in Arlington this season.
After hitting two home runs Tuesday, Kendrys Morales has doubled his total from June and is 9 for his last 21 (.429)."I worked in the cage the last three or four days to make adjustments to feel more comfortable," Morales said through a translator. "I want to take an aggressive approach every time. That's what it takes to be a winner."
Meanwhile, Raul Ibanez has homered in consecutive games for the sixth time this season. He is tied for fifth in the AL with 20 home runs."I think the whole team swung the bats well," Ibanez said. "Even the outs that were made were good swings. It was a good collective effort."
Hernandez might need the help given his history against Texas (48-35). The Rangers have beaten him 18 times, while no other team has topped him on more than 12 occasions. Texas has beaten Seattle's ace twice in 2013 and is also responsible for two of three outings this season in which the right-hander has surrendered double-digit hits. The Rangers reached Hernandez for three runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings April 11 and then followed with five runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings May 25.
Several Texas hitters have fared well against him. David Murphy is 21 for 69 (.304) in their matchups though he has struck out 16 times, while Elvis Andrus is 17 for 57 (.298) and Adrian Beltre is 7 for 22 (.318).
Looking to restore the Rangers pitching staff's prior success over the Mariners is Derek Holland (6-4, 3.14). The left-hander is coming off one of the best games of his career, a two-hit shutout at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.
Holland needed just 92 pitches to record his sixth career complete game and his first since he recorded three in July of 2011."You think positive thoughts," Holland said. "You can't let any negativity get in there."
Holland, who had surrendered four runs in each of his three starts prior to Thursday, has dominated the Mariners of late. In his last two starts against Seattle, he has scattered eight hits and two unearned runs over 14 1-3 innings.
Texas DH Lance Berkman (sore right knee) could return to the lineup Wednesday after missing four straight games.
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
|June 21, 2013||Michael Morse||15-Day DL||Strained right quad|
|June 18, 2013||Michael Morse||Day-to-Day||Sore right quad|
|June 08, 2013||Kendrys Morales||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|June 21, 2013||Craig Gentry||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
|June 13, 2013||Jeff Baker||15-Day DL||Sprained right thumb|
|June 07, 2013||Nelson Cruz||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 07, 2013||Michael Kirkman||60-Day DL||Cutaneous lymphoma in right triceps|
|June 06, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 06, 2013||Mitch Moreland||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Kyle Seager loves playing at Texas. Not so much for the rest of the Seattle Mariners .
This time, everyone is having a nice time in the Lone Star State.
Seager hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, and the Mariners won consecutive games at Rangers Ballpark for the first time in more than a year with a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Seager was mired in a 1-for-19 skid coming into the series, but he has five hits in the first two games against the Rangers, who dropped to 30-14 at home against Seattle since 2009. The third baseman is a .361 hitter with four homers and 11 RBIs in 20 career games at Texas.
Michael Saunders walked on a full-count pitch with two out before Seager connected against Robbie Ross (4-2) for his third hit of the game. Seager's 12th homer landed in the first row of seats in right field.
"I knew I hit it pretty good, but it didn't really get too high for me," Seager said. "I was hoping. Let's put it that way."
Charlie Furbush (2-4) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings for the win, and Tom Wilhelmsen was perfect in the 10th for his 17th save in 22 chances.
The Mariners last won two straight in Texas on May 29-30, 2012, when they took the last two of a three-game series. Seattle will go for its first sweep in Texas since 2002 on Thursday night.
"It's always good to win within your division," manager Eric Wedge said. "It's always better to do that on the road within your division. The guys have done a nice job the last couple of nights."
David Murphy and Ian Kinsler homered in the fifth inning against Felix Hernandez , giving Texas a 2-1 lead. The leadoff shot by Murphy ended a four-game streak without a homer for the Rangers, their longest in more than two years.
It also was the first homer for Murphy since June 9, and his first RBI since June 11.
Kinsler, who spent nearly a month on the disabled list with a rib fracture, sent the 11th pitch of his at-bat against Hernandez a few rows deep in left field for his first homer since May 8.
"They're pretty tough," Hernandez said. "Those two homers, I just fell behind against Murphy ... and Kinsler put in a great at-bat. I just missed my location and he hit it out of the ballpark."
The Mariners pulled even with a run in the sixth, ending Derek Holland 's night with a 37-pitch inning that included three straight full counts.
The last of the three full counts came against Mike Zunino , who battled back from an 0-2 count for a tying infield single on a hopper that Adrian Beltre couldn't handle behind the bag at third.
Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales opened the inning with singles, and Justin Smoak walked with one out, also after falling behind 0-2. Dustin Ackley struck out on a full count before Zunino's hit brought home Ibanez.
"It was frustrating on my part," Holland said. "I was 0-2 and I let that get away from me. That's upsetting to me. I had him put away and I let him get away."
Texas center fielder Leonys Martin went 0 for 4 to end the longest active hitting streak in the majors at 15 games.
The Rangers fell to 0-3 in extra innings at home and were held to two runs for the second straight game a few hours after announcing they had agreed to a minor league deal with 41-year-old slugger Manny Ramirez , acknowledging their need for a right-handed power bat.
"I think my offense last night got shut down by (Joe) Saunders," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I think today it was pitching again. There's nothing wrong with my offense. We'll just continue to battle and see where it goes."
Holland, making his first outing since a two-hit shutout in a 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium, gave up a leadoff home run to Jason Bay on the fourth pitch of the game.
The Mariners had runners at first and third with no outs in the second after singles by Seager and Smoak, but Holland got a shallow fly ball from Dustin Ackley that forced Seager to hold up after going a third of the way down the line. Holland then struck out Zunino and got Brad Miller on a fly ball to center.
Holland struck out 10 and had seven hits and two walks on his line.
Hernandez gave up four extra-base hits, matching the Texas total from its previous four games combined. Besides the homers from Murphy and Kinsler, Nelson Cruz doubled with two outs in the first and Beltre had a leadoff double that was followed by three straight outs in the sixth.
Elvis Andrus grounded into an inning-ending double play with two on in the seventh to wrap up the night for Hernandez, who gave up seven hits and struck out seven in his third straight no-decision.
"It was not bad," Hernandez said. "I think last year I didn't pitch here, but today I was just trying to make good pitches. In this ballpark when the ball flies, I just try to keep the ball down and make good pitches."
NOTES: Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando came through a bullpen session Wednesday with no setbacks and will make a rehab start Saturday at Round Rock. He likely will make at least two rehab starts. ... Hernandez hasn't won at Rangers Ballpark since Sept. 28, 2010. His last loss this season came against Texas on May 25. ... Martin stole a base for the sixth straight game, matching a Texas record set by John Lowenstein in 1978. ... Rangers DH Lance Berkman returned after missing four games with a sore right knee and went 1 for 4.