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June 28, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Felix Hernandez takes the mound against a quality opponent

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Felix Hernandez is pitching a gem tonight, but we’re still scoreless heading into the seventh inning because Franklin Moralez is two-hitting the Mariners. Other than the Franklin Gutierrez single — right before he got hurt and left the game — the M’s have had just two other baserunners courtesy of a Dustin Ackley walk in the fifth and a Kyle Seager infield hit in the sixth.
Hernandez has the King’s Court rocking tonight, striking out nine batters so far while allowing only three singles and zero walks.
But he needs help. The good news for Seattle is, Morales has a pitch count of 90 so he’s probably got only one inning left.
8:20 p.m.: We’re still scoreless after four innings, but things took a turn for the worse on the Mariners’ side in the fourth when Franklin Gutierrez was hit on the side of the face by a pickoff throw to first base from Red Sox starter Franklin Morales. Gutierrez had just reached on a leadoff single up the middle when Morales threw over.
Gutierrez was scampering back to the bag and didn’t see the ball, which nailed his face flush from the side. He lay on the ground for several moments, writhing in pain at times, as the team’s medical staff tended to him. Finally, he was taken to the clubhouse. Michael Saunders replaced him as a pinch-runner and will enter the game in center field.


7:06 p.m.: We’ll see which Felix Hernandez shows up tonight. Hernandez had some better outings his last time out against…er, San Diego and San Francisco — not exactly offensive juggernauts. Hernandez hasn’t been quite as good against American League opponents that are, you know, good.
The Red Sox have had their internal strife this season, but few will argue they lack the talent needed to compete for the playoffs.
Hernandez has had trouble with those types of teams lately.
Got rocked by the White Sox in Chicago and left the game early with a back problem. Got torched by the Angels prior to that, did well versus Texas before that (an exception, yes) and was routed by the Indians prior to that.
So, yeah, a real mixed bag for Hernandez against the better AL teams.
Like I said, we’ll see which one shows up tonight.

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