Mariners-Angels Preview

Considering how things have gone in June, Felix Hernandez should be in for a solid performance during his final start of an inconsistent month.

Facing the Los Angeles Angels could also help.

Hoping to have the Seattle Mariners star second baseman behind him, the right-hander can bounce back from another rough outing by continuing his success against the host Angels on Sunday.

Hernandez (10-4, 3.24 ERA) went 8-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 10 starts through April and May, but is 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA in June. While alternating losses and wins, he's allowed a run and six hits in 15 innings of both victories but 19 runs and 20 hits over 11 2-3 innings of those defeats.

Hernandez followed a four-hit, eight-inning effort during a 2-0 win over San Francisco on June 17 by yielding four runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-1 loss to Kansas City on Monday.

"I didn't have my best stuff," Hernandez told MLB's official website. "I made good pitches and they'd get a base hit. Sometimes that happens."

Hernandez was flat out dismal in his only road start this month on June 12, allowing eight runs, five hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning during a 10-0 loss at Houston.

However, Seattle (34-41) has won Hernandez's last eight starts versus Los Angeles and he's posted an 0.64 ERA to go 4-0 in his last six meetings. In winning both against Los Angeles (38-37) this year, Hernandez has yielded a solo homer and lasted seven innings in each, and totaled 18 strikeouts with two walks.

''He's had our number lately,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Robinson Cano could be available for Seattle after he was hit in the head by a stray ball while sitting in the dugout before the seventh inning of Saturday's 4-2 defeat. Cano felt dizzy and was taken to the clubhouse but no signs of a concussion were found.

"The Angels doctors checked him out and our staff checked him out," manager Lloyd McClendon said of Cano, who had a sizable welt on his head. "From what we've been told, he should be ready to go (Sunday)."

Though Cano is 1 for 7 in the series, a Mariners club that's totaled 17 runs and hit .216 while losing four of six likely can't afford to be without him for too long.

Los Angeles' Mike Trout is 4 for 7 in the series, and is batting .364 with three homers, three doubles and two triples versus Hernandez.

Teammate Hector Santiago (4-4, 2.68) is 0-1 with a 4.57 ERA in four starts this month, but gave up a homer and one other hit in six innings of a 4-3 win over Houston on Monday.

"Hector's shown a lot of resiliency," Scioscia said of one of the team's biggest surprises. "He's got great deception. He's got really good life on his pitches. He's really having, quietly, a tremendous year for us."

The left-hander's only two starts against the Mariners came last season when he posted a 7.71 ERA in a pair of losses.

Batting .360 versus Seattle this season, Erick Aybar could be in the Angels lineup after he was relegated to a pinch-hitting role Saturday because of hamstring tightness.

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