Mariners ace Felix Hernandez has a chance to make history when he pitches against the Indians on Wednesday at Progressive Field.
Hernandez will be looking to break the Major League record for most consecutive starts of seven or more innings with two or fewer runs allowed. The 28-year-old right-hander accomplished the feat in each of his last 13 starts, tying him with Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, who set the mark with the Mets in 1971.
Hernandez said he's more worried about winning than breaking records after getting a no-decision in his last outing -- a game the Mariners wound up losing, 2-1, to the Orioles in 10 innings.
"It means a lot for myself, but I don't care about myself," Hernandez said. "I just care about the team."
Hernandez is 11-2 with a 1.99 ERA. He is second in the AL in ERA, WHIP (0.891) and strikeouts (173). Over his last 13 starts, he's gone 7-1 with a 1.36 ERA.
"His preparation is second to none," said manager Lloyd McClendon. "His conditioning is probably second to none. And on top of all of that, he's a pretty darn good teammate. It's a nice combination to have."
Hernandez is 7-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 15 starts against Cleveland, but he's struggled in nine starts at Progressive Field, going 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA.
Opposing Hernandez is right-hander Corey Kluber (10-6, 2.77 ERA). In his past four starts, Kluber is 3-0 with a 1.97 ERA over 32 innings. He had to settle for a no-decision in his last outing despite retiring the first 19 Royals he faced.
But a throwing error from left fielder Ryan Raburn in the eighth led to an unearned run. The Tribe ended up losing, 2-1, in the 14th.
Kluber allowed just two hits over nine innings while striking out 10. He did not issue a walk.
"We've seen Klubes pitch really well this year, but that was [impressive]," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I wish we had some runs, so you can sit back and really enjoy it, because that was pretty special, what he was doing. You can pick all the adjectives you want. He really pitched."
Mariners: Ackley getting shot at leading off
After hitting .375 in his first 21 games in July, left fielder Dustin Ackley was moved into the leadoff spot in Tuesday's series opener against the Indians as McClendon looked for a spark for a team that had lost five of its last six.
Ackley responded by going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored in a 5-2 win.
"Just trying to jumpstart our offense," McClendon said. "We lost five one-run games in the last [10 days]. I'm just trying to do something different. Hopefully it'll jumpstart guys, put a little speed at the bottom with [James Jones], speed at the top and we'll see what happens. He's been swinging a hot bat."
Indians: Santana rolling
Cleanup hitter Carlos Santana wasn't hesitant to pinpoint what he thought caused his early-season slump after earning his first American League Player of the Week Award.
"The first two months, I played different positions," Santana said. "It bothered me a little bit. Right now, I'm playing only one position. But, I'm open. I'm open with the manager. Whatever position he puts me, I'll play, but I feel more comfortable when I play only one position."
Following a stint on the seven-day concussion disabled list after taking a foul ball to his catcher's facemask, Santana became Cleveland's primary first baseman on June 7. That pretty much ended his early-season role splitting time between catcher, first base and third base.
The 28-year-old is batting .335 in 44 games at first base, compared to .129 in 26 games at third base. In 11 games catching, he is 3-for-34.
• The Mariners have the lowest ERA of any bullpen in the American League at 2.37, with the Indians second at 2.96.
• After starting rookie Chris Taylor at shortstop on Tuesday, McClendon said Brad Miller would get the nod for Wednesday's game against Kluber.
• With a 5-2 loss Tuesday, the Indians six-game, home winning streak over the Mariners came to an end.
Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.