Felix Hernandez’s career-long struggles against Los Angeles were at least temporarily put aside when he notched a victory against the Angels on April 27. Hernandez will attempt to defeat the host Angels again on Thursday when the Seattle Mariners play Los Angeles in the finale of the four-game set. Hernandez allowed two runs (one earned) and five hits in eight innings to improve his career mark against the Angels to 7-12 in 31 career outings.
Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia dropped struggling outfielder Josh Hamilton to seventh in the batting order in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over the Mariners. Hamilton was 0-for-3 and struck out twice one night after hitting into three double plays and fanning twice while going hitless in five at-bats. Seattle continues to be a porous offensive squad and has scored only 30 runs in its last 13 games – tallying one run or fewer five times during the stretch.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, ROOT (Seattle), Fox Sports West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Felix Hernandez (8-4, 2.32 ERA) vs. Angels RH Tommy Hanson (4-2, 3.94)
Hernandez has won three consecutive decisions and has a 1.84 ERA over his last four starts. He has excelled on the road with a 6-2 mark to go with a 1.74 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Hernandez hasn’t pitched a complete game in 15 starts this season after having five or more in each of the last three campaigns.
Hanson has won back-to-back starts, yielding two runs in each contest while defeating the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. He struck out a season-best eight in 6 1/3 innings against the Yankees on Saturday. Hanson beat the Mariners in 2011 when he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings while pitching for the Atlanta Braves.
1. Angels OF Mike Trout is batting .407 with a homer and nine RBIs in 27 career at-bats against Hernandez. Hamilton is hitting just .147 with a homer and 16 strikeouts in 51 career at-bats versus the Seattle ace.
2. Mariners OF Michael Morse is 5-for-13 with two homers and seven RBIs against Hanson.
3. Los Angeles is 4-1 against the Mariners at Angel Stadium this season, outscoring Seattle 33-7.
PREDICTION: Angels 3, Mariners 1