Felix Hernandez is the only righty starting pitcher the Red Sox will face in their four-game series against the Mariners. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Red Sox-Mariners series preview

May 14, 2015 - 6:59 am
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After taking two of three games from the A's and picking up their first series win since April 29, the Red Sox continue their West Coast road swing with a trip up to Safeco Field to play the Mariners. Having now won three of their last four games, the Sox certainly have momentum going into Seattle, but the Mariners might have something to say about that. Seattle just had its four-game winning streak snapped by the Padres on Wednesday night in a 4-2 defeat at home. The Mariners had grabbed a win in the first of their two-game stint with San Diego and swept the A's prior to that. Despite the recent surge, Seattle is still the owner of a 15-18 record, just one fewer win than Boston's 16-18. On Tuesday, the Mariners finished with an 11-4 victory over the Padres in which they hit six home runs over the course of the night. The M's now are tied for third in the league with 43 total homers, though they've scored the second-fewest runs in the American League (130). "It was just one of those nights, I guess," first baseman Logan Morrison said of all the home runs. "I didn't hit mine that well, but good enough to get it over the fence. I'll take it." Seattle has the 10th-best batting average in the AL at .243, while the Sox have a second-worst .230. However, Boston has the advantage in on-base percentage, as the Mariners rank 13th out of 15 teams with a .301 total compared to the Red Sox' ninth-best .312. That might have something to do with the fact that Seattle has the drawn just 88 walks on the year, 22nd in the majors, while Boston has a second-best 128 base-on-balls total. In terms of slugging percentage, Seattle ranks seventh in the majors with a .415 mark while the Sox sit at 26th (.362). The biggest threat for Boston when heading into Washington state is ace Felix Hernandez. The right-hander leads the league in WHIP (0.84) and wins with an unblemished 6-0 record. Hernandez also has a season ERA of 1.85, which is sixth overall among league starters and third in the AL. He has allowed just 10 earned runs on 33 total hits and holds batters to a .192/.240/.302 slash line when they face him. The Mariners will roll out three left-handed starters when the Sox stop by, making Boston's job that much harder as it slashes .188/.291/.347 against lefties as opposed to .245/.322/.374 when facing righties. As a whole, the Seattle staff has a team ERA of 4.02, though the starters' is 4.18 in 189 1/3 innings, 18th in the majors. Seattle's bullpen has an ERA of 3.81, just 0.06 greater than that of the Red Sox' relievers. The rotation boasts a WHIP of 1.25 and an OBP of 3.06, both 11th overall. Here are the pitching matchups for the series: Joe Kelly (1-2, 6.35 ERA) vs. Roenis Elias (0-1, 3.86 ERA) Clay Buchholz (2-4, 5.73 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (3-1, 3.29 ERA) Rick Porcello (3-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (6-0, 1.85 ERA) Stephen Wright (1-0, 4.22 ERA) vs. James Paxton (1-2, 4.31 ERA) WHO'€™S HOT: RED SOX -- Dustin Pedroia is eight for his last 22 with three RBIs, notching a slash line of .364/.440/.364 in his last six games. The second baseman has also drawn three walks and struck out twice. -- Though he failed to get a hit in either the Sox' second or third games against Oakland, Mookie Betts has a .262 average in his last 10 games with five RBIs, four walks, three home runs and three strikeouts. All three of those K's came on Wednesday afternoon, though, and prior to that he hadn't struck out since May 2. Tuesday's hitless bid also broke up a nine-game hit streak he had pieced together. -- Junichi Tazawa has not allowed an earned run since May 1 against the Yankees and has logged 5 1/3 innings during that span, surrendering just two hits and three walks while striking out three. He now has a season ERA of 1.59. WHO'S HOT: MARINERS -- Nelson Cruz is hitting .410/.465/.821 this month through May 12 with seven RBIs and five home runs. He has recorded six multihit games so far this month and his hit streak was extended to four games after he nabbed a single in the fourth inning Wednesday night against the Padres. -- Leadoff man Seth Smith has 11 hits in his 39 at-bats from May 2 onward, good for a .282 average. The outfielder has also contributed a .333 on-base percentage during the month, drawing two walks with three doubles, a triple and a home run. -- Robinson Cano is hitting .316/.372/.395 in May, excluding Wednesday night's loss to San Diego. He has three doubles and five RBIs, walking three times and striking out eight. WHO'S NOT: RED SOX -- Pablo Sandoval was 1-for-12 in the series against the A's, although that one hit was the game-winning home run. He is seven for his last 38, though, with eight strikeouts and four RBIs. Since May 3, his batting average has dipped from .326 to .285. -- Justin Masterson had another start in which he lasted fewer than five innings. In fact on Tuesday he only managed 2 1/3. The righty gave up six earned runs on six hits, allowing two homers, for 10 total earned runs in his last 6 2/3 innings. Farrell and Masterson both hinted that there might be an injury plaguing the pitcher, and so his spot in the Sunday game is not yet guaranteed. -- David Ortiz picked up two hits in the Sox' first game against Oakland but didn't record any more as the series went on, leaving him a 2-for-13 finish with one RBI and four strikeouts. His May slash line so far is .209/.261/.279 and he has seven strikeouts this month with two RBIs and three walks, registering nine hits in 43 at-bats. WHO'S NOT: MARINERS -- In his last 10 games, bullpen arm Danny Farquhar has a 7.45 ERA through 9 2/3 innings. He has allowed eight earned runs on 13 hits, five for extra bases including two home runs, and issued six walks to eight strikeouts. Batters have posted a .333/.422/.564 slash line against him in that time. -- Shortstop Chris Taylor made his first start for Seattle on May 4 after being called up from Triple-A and has played pretty regularly since then. While still adjusting to MLB play, Taylor is slashing .182/.217/.182 in 22 at-bats through May 12 with four singles, a walk, a stolen base and seven strikeouts. -- Despite knocking in seven runs in the month of May, Kyle Seager is hitting just .200/.238/.425 in that period of 11 games. He has eight hits in 40 at-bats, though five of them have been for extra bases (three doubles an two home runs). Seager also has struck out five times in May to just one walk as of Tuesday.