Unbeatable in recent outings, Felix Hernandez will try to stay hot by continuing his recent success against the New York Yankees. The Seattle Mariners ace, though, might have a considerable challenge in this upcoming game at Yankee Stadium.
That's because the Yankees' CC Sabathia will also be seeking his ninth win in as many starts against Seattle in Tuesday night's series opener.Hernandez (5-2, 1.53 ERA) improved to 4-0 with a 0.71 ERA in his last five starts after a 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He's earned three of those wins on the road while allowing one run in 22 innings.Hernandez is 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA in his last five road starts against the Yankees (24-14) and threw a two-hitter at Yankee Stadium in his most recent matchup with New York on Aug. 4.He's also 7-2 with a 2.19 ERA in his last 10 overall starts against the Yankees.Hernandez, though, might have to outduel Sabathia (4-3, 3.23) in this one. The New York left-hander has posted a 1.20 ERA while winning his past eight matchups with Seattle (18-20) and is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last four meetings in New York."That's a big matchup right there," Hernandez told the team's website. "I just have to go out there and match him and do whatever we have to do to win the game."Hernandez will have the benefit of a little extra rest thanks to the Mariners' pair of off days since his most recent start, and Sabathia could come into this outing a little fresher than usual as well.Sabathia had his latest start Thursday in Colorado cut short by a lengthy rain delay. He allowed one run, one hit and one walk over four innings in a 3-1 victory.The Yankees had a season-high five-game win streak snapped with a 1-0 loss in the opener of Monday's doubleheader in Cleveland, but bounced back with a 7-0 rout in the finale.Vernon Wells had a pair of RBIs and Lyle Overbay hit a two-run double in a six-run seventh inning. The two contests were added to a six-game trip after New York was rained out twice in Cleveland in April."This is a great road trip for us," manager Joe Girardi said. "We played three teams that were playing well. Colorado was a game or two out when we played them. Kansas City was tied for first and these guys are in first. To do that, it's a really good road trip."Girardi's club might get a boost during the series if Curtis Granderson can return from a fractured right forearm. The outfielder has been rehabbing at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but when he will return is unknown."I've always said when Grandy feels that he's ready, then come on," said Girardi, who planned to speak with GM Brian Cashman about the center fielder. "We want him back in our lineup. If he feels he's ready to go, he's ready to go."The Mariners enter this game having won nine of 13 but are 7-11 away from home this season and went 3-2 on their most recent road trip. They're 3-8 in their last 11 road games against the Yankees and went 3-6 overall in last season's series.Hernandez earned two of those wins while allowing two runs over 16 1/3 innings. Sabathia gave up three runs and three hits in a complete game in his only matchup with Seattle in 2012, a 6-3 win at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 3.