(SportsNetwork.com) - Felix Hernandez will return to the mound for the Seattle Mariners looking for his sixth straight win as he prepares to battle with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
King Felix, who hasn't lost a game since April 21, has been on point with his recent starts, earning victories in his last five outings.
Hernandez was dominant against the Yankees on Monday, going seven strong innings and allowing just two earned runs on eight hits - tied for the most hits he's given up in his five-game win streak. In four straight games, Hernandez has remained on the hill for at least seven innings.
On the season, Hernandez has earned an 8-1 record with a 2.57 earned run average. He's already recorded 91 strikeouts and has walked just 16 batters in 91 innings pitched, while also sporting a 1.03 WHIP.
In his career versus Tampa Bay, Hernandez is 5-2 in 12 starts with two complete games and a 2.28 ERA. In seven starts on the road this season, Hernandez is a perfect 4-0 in over 47 innings of work. His last start against the Rays on May 12 began his five-game win streak, although the four earned runs he surrendered is the most this season in 13 outings.
His counterpart, Chris Archer, took a tough loss on Tuesday when the Rays faced off against the Marlins. Archer allowed just one run and five hits in seven innings of work, but the Rays offense couldn't get anything going to help out in a 1-0 Miami victory. Archer notched eight strikeouts in the effort.
This season, the 25-year-old North Carolina native owns a 3-3 record with a 3.73 ERA in exactly 70 innings pitched.
His only two career starts against the Mariners have both resulted in losses. Archer has gone a combined nine innings against Seattle lifetime, and has allowed eight runs - seven earned - and 13 hits with a 7.00 ERA.
The tough stretch continued for Rays starter Alex Cobb on Saturday, as he was hit with his fourth loss of the season in a 7-4 Mariners victory. Cobb still hasn't picked up a win since April 12.
Cobb surrendered 10 hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings of work, while Roenis Elias pitched 7 2/3 innings of four-run ball to earn the win for Seattle.
With the Mariners up 3-2 in the fifth, Dustin Ackley doubled to deep right center which drove in three runs, opening up the lead for the Mariners. He had two hits and three RBI on the afternoon.
"They had some really good at-bats working and they just beat us up," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "Just not Cobb's day."
Tampa Bay has lost 11 of its last 12 games played, and hasn't strung back-to- back wins together since a sweep of the Red Sox May 23-25.