Dan Haren will toe the slab for the Angels, Felix Hernandez will pitch for the Mariners, and both will try to pad their already-impressive statistics for 2011.
Haren might be coming off a loss in Texas in which he gave up seven runs (six earned) in 4 1/3 innings, but his past numbers indicate he's a good candidate to turn it around in Seattle.
Haren is 4-1 with a 2.26 ERA in eight career starts at Safeco and is 9-4 overall vs. Seattle with a 2.52 ERA.
"I actually felt really good physically," Haren said of his loss to the Rangers, his first defeat in eight outings. "I just never really got in a rhythm. I was working in the stretch all night. There are times when you're going to hit a bump in the road. That's baseball."
Haren is 5 1/3 innings shy of his seventh consecutive season with 200-plus innings, and his 1.02 WHIP is his best since 2009, when it was at 1.00 for Arizona.
Meanwhile, Hernandez, last year's American League Cy Young Award winner, is still only 25 years old, but he's developed into one of baseball's most durable pitchers. Hernandez went over the 200-inning count for a fourth straight season in his last outing, a 9-2 victory at Cleveland.
He got two extra days of rest between starts this week, with Seattle having gone to a six-man rotation in an attempt to alleviate the load on its starting pitchers. Then again, Hernandez takes pride in his workload and the ability to exceed 200 for four straight seasons. He threw an AL-high 249 2/3 last year.
"It means a lot," Hernandez said. "I try to throw a lot of innings, and I want to help my team. The only goal I have every season is just stay healthy. If I do that, I can throw a lot of innings."
Hernandez also appreciated a rare outbreak of run support in his last outing, with the nine runs scored on a day he said he didn't have his best stuff, despite striking out 10 for his seventh double-digit strikeout game of the year.
"I was falling behind a lot, the fastball wasn't around the plate," Hernandez said. "The secondary pitches were better, but the fastball was all over the place."
He'll need to be sharp against the Angels, who have had his number over the years. He's 4-9 with a 4.01 ERA in 23 starts against the Angels and is 0-1 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts this year, both in Anaheim.
Angels: Kendrick crushing it
Second baseman Howard Kendrick connected for home runs in five of six games from Aug. 21-28, making him the first Angel to do so since Kendrys Morales, who did it from July 27-Aug. 2, 2009. The most recent Angels second baseman to do so was Bobby Grich (six homers in six games played from June 6-Aug. 15, 1981, in an interrupted season), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Kendrick is batting .383 (19-for-52) with 10 extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple, six homers), 14 runs and 11 RBIs over his last 13 games.
Outfielder Mike Trout continues to swing a hot bat since his recall on Aug. 19. The Majors' youngest player -- he turned 20 on Aug. 7 -- homered in his first two at-bats on Tuesday, drew a bases-loaded walk and drove in five runs. He has eight hits in his last 18 at-bats across six games. The Angels are 14-6 when he plays.
Left fielder Vernon Wells is 11-for-27 (.407) with six extra-base hits over his last eight games to raise his season batting average from .201 to .215.
Mariners: Rookies rocking
The Mariners have five rookie position players on the roster -- Dustin Ackley, Mike Carp, Trayvon Robinson, Kyle Seager and Casper Wells -- and the five have combined for the following line: 181 games, .287 average (190-for-662), 83 runs, 39 doubles, seven triples, 22 home runs and 90 RBIs. On the last road trip, the five rookies hit .328 (41-for-125) with 18 runs, 10 doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs.
Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki is going to have to go on a tear to record his 11th consecutive 200-hit season. Ichiro has recorded 154 hits and needs 46 more hits over the last 28 games to reach the milestone and set the all-time record for 200-hit seasons in a career (currently tied with Pete Rose).
Ichiro has recorded 265 hits in his career (198 games) against the Angels, including 77 multi-hit games. He ranks fourth in all-time hits vs. the Angels franchise, trailing George Brett (282), Carl Yastrzemski (281) and Cal Ripken Jr. (266). Ichiro is batting .309 (17-for-55) vs. the Angels this season.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar has hit in 10 straight games (12-for-38, .316) with eight RBIs. His seven homers this season are a career high.
Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez has not made an error in 274 games (266 starts) dating to Aug. 21, 2009. He holds the American League record with 774 consecutive errorless chances.