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|6:10 PM PT7:10 PM MT8:10 PM CT9:10 PM ET21:10 ET1:10 GMT9:10 6:10 PM MST8:10 PM EST8:40 PM VEN5:10 UAE (+1)8:10 PM CT, August 24, 2019
T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 34,590
King Felix set to return for Mariners to face Jays
At times this summer, there were doubts Felix Hernandez would ever make another start for the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
However, after being sidelined for 3 1/2 months due to shoulder issues, Seattle's longtime ace is scheduled to pitch Saturday night against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.
"I'm really excited about seeing Felix again," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He's done what we asked him to do and what he needed to do on the rehab stuff. We'll see how it goes."
Hernandez made four rehabilitation appearances with three Seattle farm teams in recent weeks. In his latest outing, on Monday with Triple-A Tacoma, he went three-plus innings, allowing one run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
"What else do I got to show them to be up there?" Hernandez told MLB.com. "I mean, I feel pretty good and I'm ready to go."
Hernandez (1-4, 6.52 ERA) has won 169 games and struck out 2,501 batters in his 15 seasons with Seattle, a stretch that includes winning the 2010 American League Cy Young Award and pitching the majors' most recent perfect game in 2012.
However, with the Mariners in rebuilding mode and Hernandez's $27 million deal up after this year, the 33-year-old right-hander isn't expected back.
"I can't wait to go up there and pitch," Hernandez told MLB.com. "It's going to be my last year. I don't know what's going to happen next year, so I'm going to go up there and show them that I still love the fans and that I still love Seattle.
"It's been frustrating. It's been tough on my mind. But you know what, you got to forget about it. We've got a month and a half left, I'm just going to go out there and pitch."
Servais said he's "very realistic in my expectations" for King Felix.
"I'm not expecting him to go seven shutout innings. But I do know one thing about Felix: When he takes the mound, he's a super, super competitor. It'll be a little different crowd than we normally get with all the Blue Jays fans here. Felix enjoys those venues, when it's a little bit fired up in the stands. So I think we'll get his best effort."
Hernandez is 7-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 17 career starts against Toronto.
The Blue Jays plan to use an opener (Wilmer Font, 3-3, 4.27 ERA) before turning the ball over to right-hander Brock Stewart (2-0, 7.43), who was selected off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31.
Stewart has never faced the Mariners. Font is 0-2 against Seattle in his career, with a 5.62 ERA in four appearances, two starts.
The Blue Jays took their sixth consecutive defeat Friday night in the series opener, losing 7-4.
The Mariners broke a 4-4 tie with three runs in the sixth inning, coming on a bases-loaded walk and two run-scoring wild pitches. It's something they obviously need to avoid moving forward.
"I'll tell you what, we just didn't throw strikes," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. "Whatever inning that was, the four walks and the wild pitches and stuff. The bullpen just didn't throw strikes. It was tough, and it's tough to play defense when guys are not throwing strikes."
--Field Level Media
Updated August 24, 2019