GAME: Mariners (11-12, T 2 AL West, - 5.5 GB) at Rays (14-8, T 1 AL East, 0-0 GB). GAME #: 24. SERIES: 1st of 4 games. MEETING (2012): 1st. WHEN: Monday, 4:10 p.m. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (Seattle, 2-1, 2.48) vs. RHP Jeremy Hellickson (Tampa Bay, 3-0, 2.84).STREAKS: Mariners L 2; Rays W 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.Felix Hernandez (2-1, 2.48) would represent the Mariners' best chance of ending a two-game losing streak if not for the fact that in his start Monday at Tropicana Field is where he is 0-2 and has a fat -- for him -- 5.74 career ERA.
Hernandez, who has allowed two or fewer earned runs in three of his five starts, will match throws with Jeremy Hellickson, who has yet to lose in 2012. A closer look at Monday's starters:MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (2-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)
The 25-year-old Hernandez, in his eighth major league season, all with the Mariners, will be making his sixth start and his first against the Rays.
A native of Valencia, VZ., the 6-3, 230-pound Hernandez was signed as a non-drafted free agent July 4, 2002 by Seattle scout Bob Engle.
He made his major league debut Aug. 4, 2005, absorbing a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, in a game in which Hernandez allowed one earned run and fanned four. Hernandez is a two-time American League All-Star (2009, 2011) and won the AL Cy Young award in 2010, when he went 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA.
Hernandez has a career mark of 87-68, 3.22 ERA, and a career batting average against of .239.
- LAST START: April 25 at Detroit, defeated the Tigers 9-1 in a game in which Dustin Ackley and Ichiro each had three hits and Alex Liddi banged a home run; allowed one earned run on four hits over 7.0 innings; had two strikeouts and uncharacteristically had three walks in the first inning, but escaped without damage.
- LAST VS. RAYS: Aug. 19 at Tropicana Field, lost a 3-2 decision to Juan Cruz and the Rays, falling to 11-11; allowed three earned runs on seven hits over 8.0 innings, striking out nine and walking three; threw 109 pitches, 72 for strikes.
- CAREER VS. RAYS: 3-2 record with a 2.42 ERA in nine starts covering 67.0 innings; strikes out 9.0 batters per 9 IP; has faced 269 Tampa Bay batters and yielded just four home runs; has one complete game.
- AT TROPICANA FIELD: 0-2, 5.74 ERA in two starts, covering 15.2 IP; averages 9.0 K's per 9 innings, but has allowed three home runs; all 10 runs allowed were earned.
- LOVES TO FACE: Carlos Pena (0-for-11, .000 BA, 3 K's), Brandon Allen (0-for-6, .000 BA, 5 K's), B.J. Upton (2-for-25, .080 BA, 9 K's), Ben Zobrist (3-for-19, .158 BA, 7 K's).
- HATES TO FACE: Sam Fuld (2-for-4, .500 BA), Evan Longoria (5-for-14, .357 BA).
- March 28 (ND, 0-0): Pitched well enough to win season debut, but the Mariners and A’s battled through a 1-1 tie until the 11th when Seattle pushed across two runs to win 3-1, a Tokyo Dome contest that featured a home run and two RBIs by Dustin Ackley and a 4-for-5 performance by Ichiro.
- April 7: (W, 1-0): Didn’t have best stuff — allowed six earned runs on eight hits over 6.1 IP — but the Mariners, banging 13 hits, 3 by Chone Figgins, staked him to a 6-0 lead.
- April 13 (L, 1-1): Allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 7 IP, but lost to Bartolo Colon and the Oakland A’s 4-0; fanned six and walked two in a 107-pitch effort that included 69 strikes; had an equal number of ground ball and fly ball outs, 10.
- April 19 (ND, 1-1): Gave up five hits and no runs in 8.0 innings vs. Cleveland at Safeco Field; had 12 strikeouts and one walk; Brandon League relieved and sustained both a blown save and the 2-1 loss.
- April 25 (W, 2-1): Defeated Detroit 9-1 at Comerica Park; allowed one earned run on four hits over 7.0 innings; uncharacteristic three walks in the first inning.
The 25-year-old Hellickson, in his third major league season, all with Tampa, is making his fifth start and first against the Mariners.
A native of Des Moines, IA., 6-1, 190-pound Hellickson was signed by the Rays in the fourth round of the 2005 amateur draft.
He pitched in 109 minor league games in the Tampa system from 2005-10, and made his major league debut Aug. 2, 2010, earning a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins (allowed two runs on three hits over 7.0 innings).
Hellickson went 4-0, 3.47 over the balance of the 2010 season, and then went 13-10 2.95 in 29 starts for the Rays in 2011. He had two complete games and one shutout.
Hellickson pitched his best game May 13 at Tropicana Field, defeating Baltimore 3-0. In a complete game, Hellickson struck out three and walked one, allowing just four hits, only one for extra bases.
Hellickson won the 2011 American League Rookie of the Year award (he led the league in fielding percentage by a pitcher), earning 73 percent of the votes (in the same balloting, Michael Pineda, then of the Mariners, and Dustin Ackley, finished fifth and sixth.
Hellickson has a career record of 20-10, 3.02 ERA.
Hellickson is pitching better this season than he did in his ROY season. In four starts, he is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA covering 25.1 innings. He had his best start April 8, when he threw a three-hitter over 8.2 innings in defeating the Yankees 3-0.
- LAST START: April 25 at Tropicana Field, defeated the Los Angeles Angels 3-2; allowed one earned run on five hits over 6.0 innings; finished with five strikeouts and two walks; gave up a solo homer to Vernon Wells.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 20 at Tropicana Field, blanked Seattle 8-0; allowed six hits over 8.0 innings, finishing with five strikeouts and one walk; only two hits went for extra bases, doubles by Dustin Ackley and Adam Kennedy.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: Hellickson has never lost to the Mariners, going 3-0 in three starts with an 0.81 ERA over 22.1 innings; the Mariners have yet to hit a home run off Hellickson.
- AT TROPICANA FIELD: Has appeared in 20 games with 18 starts; has a 10-5 record and 2.30 ERA covering 129.1 innings; opponents have hit 14 home runs off him.
- LOVES TO FACE: Brendan Ryan (0-for-6, .000 BA, 3 K’s), Ichiro (1-for-10, .100 BA), Miguel Olivo (1-for-6, .167 BA, 2 K’s), Dustin Ackley (1-for-6, .167 BA), Chone Figgins (1-for-5, .200 BA),
- HATES TO FACE: None. Hellickson has given up just six hits to players on Seattle’s active roster and just 13 to players under contract to the Mariners. Among active players, Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak are both 1-for-3 (.333) against Hellickson.
- CURRENT MARINERS VS. HELLICKSON: 6-for-45, .133 BA, 9 K’s.
AL WEST STANDINGS
- Mariners are 32-25 all-time at Tropicana Field, but haven't won a series there since taking two of three in 2008; Mariners haven't won at Trop since 2010, having dropped all three contests in 2011 by a margin of 19-8.
- Tampa Bay won the season series from Seattle the past two seasons, 7-2 in 2010 and 6-4 in 2011.
- Neither Seattle nor Tampa Bay have swept a four-game series from the other.
- Sunday's 7-2 loss to Toronto makes the Mariners 2-10 against the Blue Jays in the Rogers Center since 2009.
- The Mariners have scored54 of their 92runs in the first four innings.
- Mariners are 8-1 when out-hitting their opponent and 10-3 when scoring four or more runs.
- The Mariners have been charged with fivepassed balls in the pastsixgames, four by Miguel Olivo, one by Jesus Montero.
- Since getting "perfecto-ed" by Philip Humber last Saturday, the Mariners have had three double-digit hitting games, including 11 Friday against Toronto.
- After 21 games, the Mariners rank eighthin runs scored (90), sixth in hits (188), seventh in triples (3) and ninth in home runs(18).
- After 23games, the Mariners rank12thin the AL in batting average (.239), 12th in on-base percentage (.290), 11th in slugging (.369) and 12th in OPS (.666).
- Through 23 games, the Mariners are batting 45-for-204 (.221)with runners in scoring position; they went0-for-14 Sunday.
- Through 23 games, the Mariners have been out-homered28-20.
- Through 23 games, the Mariners have left 138 men on base, their opponents 141.
- Through 23 games, the Mariners have scored 92 runs, their opponents 100.
- Ichiro (0-for-4) has760 multi-hit games, which ranks fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro's 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players.
- Ichiro's three-hit game (April 25) marked the225th of his major league career.
- With 96 career home runs, Ichiro needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
- Felix Hernandez has 16 career no-decisions while throwing 7 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs.
- The Mariners have recorded four bases-loaded walks (Kawasaki, Ryan, Montero, Smoak).
- Kyle Seager's single in the fourth inning April 17 marked the 50,000th hit in Mariners' history, and Brendan Ryan's walk in the same frame scored Justin Smoak with the 25,000th run in franchise history.
- Two Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 in Tokyo vs. Oakland) and Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) have four-hit games in 2012.
- Jesus Montero owns Seattle's longest hitting streak: eight games, from March 29-April 14.
- The Mariners have been shut out four times (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland, April 21 vs. Chicago, April 27 at Toronto).
- Four Mariners, Hisashi Iwakuma, Munenori Kawasaki, Lucas Luetge and Erasmo Ramirez, have made their MLB debuts this season.
- The Mariners have batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th). Justin Smoak had two hits in the fourth vs. Cleveland, a pair of singles.
- The Mariners have three more bobblehead nights: May 25 (Dustin Ackley), June 15 (Felix Hernandez), July 28 (Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson).
- Series Records: Won 3, split 0, lost 4; Sweeps: 1; Swept: 1
- Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27).
- Longest Losing Streak: 4 (April 19-22).
- April 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo matched the franchise record when he was charged with three passed balls in a 7-4 win at Detroit. Jerry Narron let three balls get by him Oct. 4, 1980, and Jeff Clement did likewise Aug. 10, 2008 (Clement was catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey).
- April 27: Michael Saunders joined Donnie Scott (April 29, 1985) and Jimmy Presley (April 8, 1986) as the only Mariners to hit two home runs in a game in the ninth inning or later (solo homer in the 9th, grand slam in the 10th).
|Rec.||Home||Road||Day||Night||vs. RHP||vs. LHP||Hit HR||No HR|
|4/30||Mon||at TB||Hernandez (2-1, 2.48) vs. Hellickson (3-0, 2.84)|
|5/1||Tue||at TB||Noesi (1-2, 8.83) vs. Moore (0-1, 4.68)|
|5/2||Wed||at TB||Beavan (1-2, 3.26) vs. Shields (3-0, 2.76)|
|5/3||Thr||at TB||Millwood (today) vs. Niemann (1-2, 4.11)|
|Gm.#||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|1||3/28||at Oak||W, 3-1||1-0||W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)|
|2||3/29||at Oak||L, 4-1||1-1||W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)|
|Gm. #||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|3||4/6||at Oak||W, 7-3||2-1||W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)|
|4||4/7||at Oak||W, 8-7||3-1||W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)|
|5||4/9||at Tex||L, 11-5||3-2||W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)|
|6||4/10||at Tex||L, 1-0||3-3||W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)|
|7||4/11||at Tex||W, 4-3||4-3||W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)|
|8||4/12||at Tex||L, 5-3||4-4||W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1|
|9||4/13||vs Oak||L, 4-0||4-5||W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)|
|10||4/14||vs. Oak||W, 4-0||5-5||W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)|
|11||4/15||vs. Oak||W, 5-3||6-5||W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)|
|12||4/17||vs. Cle||L, 9-8||6-6||W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)|
|13||4/18||vs. Cle||W, 4-1||7-6||W: Vargas (2-1); L: Lowe (2-1)|
|14||4/19||vs. Cle||L, 2-1||7-7||W: Tomlin (1-1); L: League (0-1)|
|15||4/20||vs. CWS||L, 7-3||7-8||W: Sale (2-1); L: Noesi (1-2)|
|16||4/21||vs. CWS||L, 4-0||7-9||W: Humber (1-0); Beavan (1-2)|
|17||4/22||vs. CWS||L, 7-4||7-10||W: Danks (2-2); L: Millwood (0-1)|
|18||4/24||at Det||W, 7-4||8-10||W: Vargas (3-1); L: Scherzer (1-2)|
|19||4/25||at Det||W, 9-1||9-10||W: Fernandez (2-1); L: Wilk (0-3)|
|20||4/26||at Det||W, 5-4||10-10||W: Furbush (1-1); L: Porcello (1-2)|
|21||4/27||at Tor||W, 9-5||11-10||W: Furbush (2-1); L: Perez (2-1)|
|22||4/28||at Tor||L, 7-0||11-11||W: Morrow (2-1); L: Millwood (0-2)|
|23||4/29||at Tor||L, 7-2||11-12||W: Alvarez (1-2); L: Vargas (3-2)|