King Felix aims to rebound in opener with Royals

9:04 AM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Felix Hernandez tries to bounce back from one of the worst outings of his career on Monday when the Seattle Mariners begin a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Hernandez lost his third straight start on Wednesday against the Texas Rangers and was pounded for nine runs (8 earned) and 11 hits in just three innings, dropping him to 12-8 on the year, while raising his ERA to 2.97.

"It was embarrassing, terrible," said Hernandez. "I was a little bit up. That was the problem. And everything that I threw, they hit and found holes. That's a whole lot of runs."

Hernandez may be able to get himself untracked on Monday, as he is 4-3 lifetime versus the Royals with a 2.67 ERA in 10 starts. He's also allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of those outings.

Kansas City, meanwhile, will rely on lefty Danny Duffy, who has given the Royals a bit of a boost in their improbable run towards a postseason spot. After a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery, Duffy has gone 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA since being recalled back on Aug. 7.

Duffy, who has never faced the Mariners, has also struck out 17 batters in 16 1/3 innings and carries a 12 2/3 scoreless innings streak into Monday's opener.

"They told me when I first had surgery it's going to take some time to get your feel back for everything, and that's exactly what happened," Duffy said. "I'm lucky to have it come back as fast as it has."

Kansas City enters this series having won six of eight and finds itself 5 1/2 games back of the second wild card spot. The Royals, of course, haven't been to the playoffs since 1985.

"We're still pushing for it," said KC outfielder Jarrod Dyson. "We're not going to let up. We're going to give it all we've got."

Seattle, on the other hand, took three of four from the lowly Houston Astros over the weekend, but has lost seven of its last 10 overall.

The Mariners, though, went 7-1 against the Royals last season.

The Sports Network

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