W2W4: Rangers-Mariners


The Rangers make their second trip to the Pacific Northwest to face the Seattle Mariners. The teams each won two games in the first series in April.

This time around the Rangers will see Mariners ace Felix Hernandez after missing him in the first series. Here's what else to watch for:

Mariners' offense scuffling: Seattle has been shut out twice in the last four games, and also lost 7-1 to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night. The Mariners have been shut out four times, second most in the American League behind Houston and Toronto with five.

Dynamic duo: The Rangers will face two very tough pitchers over the weekend with Felix Hernandez and Hishasi Iwakuma. The pairing comes in off a rough spot in the their last turn in the rotation, combining to allow 11 earned runs in 11 innings for a loss and no decision. Before that Hernandez and Iwakuma were a combined 10-3 with a 1.68 ERA. Hernandez is third in the American League with a 2.07 ERA and Iwakuma is fifth with a 2.37 ERA.

Smoakin' hot: Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak, the former Rangers' first round draft pick, had reached base in a career-high 15 starts before going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Wednesday's loss to the Angels. Smoak has a record of at least one hit in 16 of his last 23 games. He is batting .290 with 17 walks during the stretch.

Ibanez provided pop: Raul Ibanez is having a flash back to his earlier years with the Mariners with six home runs and 14 RBIs in his last 10 games. He has hits in 10 of his last 13 games, batting .333 during the stretch to raise his batting average to .222.

Shutting down righties: Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen is shutting down right-handers. They are 0-for-31 against him this season. Wilhelmsen has 11 saves and has allowed one run in 19 innings.