Mariners vs. Rangers 6.13.14 Lineups, Pre-game Notes: Felix looks to snap 3-game losing skid

Happy Felix day to you all! It certainly is an ugly day here at Safeco Field otherwise. Overcast, somewhat cold and bleak on Friday in the middle of June — depressing.

It certainly doesn’t help matters that the Mariners are coming off a sweep at the hands of the Yankees as they enter a three-game series with the Rangers. But Felix Hernandez (8-1, 2.39 ERA) will be on the hill, his first time taking the mound since a career-high 15 strikeout performance in a no-decision against Tampa Bay.

Hernandez will be looking to carry the momentum over from that start and eradicate some of the demons that trouble him when pitching against Texas. In 41 career starts versus Texas, Hernandez is 12-20 with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. A host of Rangers in tonight’s lineup hit him well including Adrian Beltre (10-for-31), Elvis Andrus (21-for-71), Leonys Martin (8-for-23) and Shin-Soo Choo (8-for-30).

Other news for the M’s Friday:

Manager Lloyd McClendon has shuffled the lineup once again with Kyle Seager hitting second for the first time all season. It is a spot where McClendon has said he prefers Seager, but with the lefty James Jones leading off and lefty Robinson Cano hitting third, he has preferred having a right-handed bat somewhere near the top to break up that left-handed lean.

Not anymore.

“I’m just trying to mix things up, guys,” McClendon said. “We don’t have a perfect lineup. We’re trying to mix and match, we’re trying to do the best we can . . . and trying to stay afloat until we get some guys back. He’s 5-for-10 off (Tepesch) so I want him up there as much as he possibly can be.”

You will also notice Cole Gillespie and Stefen Romero in and Endy Chavez out. It is unknown whether it will become more regular, but it is nice to see the .200-hitting Chavez on the bench rather than leading off.

Also, Brad Miller is making his eighth consecutive start at shortstop, the longest stretch he’s had since May 5-14 when he started 11 games in a row which included a double-header against the A’s. Miller has picked it up of late, hitting .316/.350/.474/.824 with a double, triple, three runs and a walk in the past six games. His manager certainly sees him coming around.

“He’s getting better,” McClendon said. “He’s starting to see the ball a lot better, letting it travel. He had a line drive the other way, a double to right-center . . . He’s just starting to get some positive results and when you get positive results you feel better about yourself. You start to swing free and easy.”

Mariners (34-32)

1. James Jones (L) cf

2. Kyle Seager (L) 3b

3. Robinson Cano (L) 2b

4. Logan Morrison (L) 1b

5. Stefen Romero dh

6. Dustin Ackley (L) lf

7. Mike Zunino c

8. Brad Miller (L) ss

9. Cole Gillespie rf

RHP Felix Hernandez

Rangers (32-34)

1. Michael Choice dh

2. Elvis Andrus ss

3. Shin-Soo Choo (L) rf

4. Adrian Beltre 3b

5. Alex Rios rf

6. Brad Snyder (L) 1b

7. Robinson Chirinos c

8. Leonys Martin (L) cf

9. Rougned Odor (L) 2b

RHP Nick Tepesch (2-2, 4.91 ERA)


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