Los Angeles Angels (98-63) at Seattle Mariners (86-75)
Sunday, September 28 - 4:10 PM EST
Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
Felix Hernandez can win the American League ERA crown with a strong performance but he’s hoping to pitch the Seattle Mariners into a one-game playoff when he faces the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. Hernandez has a 2.18 ERA – just behind Chris Sale (2.17) of the Chicago White Sox – after a recent scoring change removed four earned runs from his ledger. The Mariners are one game behind Oakland for the AL’s second wild-card spot.
Seattle took the first two games of the series from the Angels and needs to finish off the sweep and get help from Texas to keep its postseason aspirations alive. “We’ve got to hope Oakland loses,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon told reporters after Saturday’s game. “But we’re playing a meaningful game at 162, and I think that speaks volumes about this organization, and about this club and the direction we’re headed.” Seattle is 11-7 against the Angels this season.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), ROOT (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.38 ERA) vs. Mariners RH Felix Hernandez (14-6, 2.18)
Rasmus has tossed four shutout innings in each of his last two starts, giving up a total of three hits and one walk. One of the outings was against Seattle on Sept. 16 when he struck out four and allowed one hit. Rasmus is making his sixth start since being moved into the rotation.
Hernandez lost to Toronto in his last outing and has just one victory over his last eight starts. He is 10-13 with a 3.60 ERA in 39 career starts against the Angels but had a strong outing Sept. 18 when he struck out 11 and gave up just three hits in seven innings. Hernandez is 9-3 with a 2.16 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 16 home starts this season.
1. Mariners CF Austin Jackson, who drove in the winning run on a fielder’s choice Saturday, is 2-for-29 over the last seven games.
2. Los Angeles CF Mike Trout is 18-for-47 with two homers against Hernandez, while C Chris Iannetta is just 2-for-20 with eight strikeouts.
3. Seattle 1B Logan Morrison is 5-for-12 with two homers over the last three games.
PREDICTION: Mariners 3, Angels 1