Major League Baseball
Preview
Seattle at Pittsburgh
When: 7:05 PM ET, Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Rust was a formidable foe for Felix Hernandez in his last outing as the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner struggled to find his form in his first start following a near-two-month absence with a right calf injury. Hernandez looks to regain his footing Tuesday as the visiting Seattle Mariners play the opener of an abbreviated two-game interleague series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hernandez received a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday as Seattle rallied to ignite a modest three-game winning streak but followed up Saturday's season-high hit total of 19 with only one in a 2-0 loss to Toronto the following day. Leonys Martin's single accounted for all the offense and the 28-year-old Cuban has struggled mightily in five career meetings with Pittsburgh, going 2-for-18 with six strikeouts. Starling Marte has appeared to turn the corner after dealing with flu-like symptoms, collecting four hits and three runs scored in his last two games to help Pittsburgh win both outings and improve to 5-2 in its last seven. The 27-year-old Dominican has also gotten healthy against Seattle, going 11-for-25 with two homers and nine runs scored while his 3-for-8 performance versus Hernandez isn't too shabby.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, ROOT (Seattle, Pittsburgh)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Felix Hernandez (4-4, 3.23) vs. Pirates LH Francisco Liriano (6-9, 4.96)

Hernandez stumbled out of the blocks Wednesday, allowing a three-run homer in the first inning before limping through 6 2/3 frames. The 30-year-old Venezuelan looks to rebound versus Pittsburgh, against which he struck out 11 in his last encounter and owns a 2-0 career mark with a 1.17 ERA while limiting the Pirates to just a .217 batting average. Matt Joyce belted a two-run homer Sunday, but his bat has been ice-cold against Hernandez (3-for-27, eight strikeouts).

Liriano was in rare form Thursday, striking out 13 batters and allowing three runs (two earned) in 6 2/3 innings in a 5-3 victory over Milwaukee. The 32-year-old Dominican did not walk a batter in the scintillating performance after issuing at least three in nine of his previous 10 outings. Liriano has also had his way with the Mariners dating back to his time with American League clubs Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox, posting a 6-2 mark while limiting the club to a .194 batting average.

WALK-OFFS

1. Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen is 4-for-25 with six strikeouts in his last six games.

2. Seattle boasts an impressive 9-3 mark in interleague play this season while Pittsburgh is 7-8.

3. Pirates 3B David Freese has not scored a run in nine games.

PREDICTION: Mariners 4, Pirates 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Seattle 50-48 L1 25-23 25-25 15-7 10-14 16-24 9-3
Pittsburgh 51-47 W2 28-22 23-25 10-10 19-20 15-9 7-8
Last Meeting
Seattle Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/29/16 PIT 8 SEA 1 .188 0 .406 .268 1 .748
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Seattle R. Cano .625 5 1.250
Pittsburgh S. Marte .500 4 1.306
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Seattle N. Cruz 1 1 2
Pittsburgh D. Freese 1 2 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
Seattle 5.00 .277 16
Pittsburgh 2.65 .247 14
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Seattle R. Cano .303 121 .894
Pittsburgh S. Marte .316 109 .831
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Seattle N. Cruz 25 58 65
Pittsburgh A. McCutchen 14 53 38
Pitching ERA Avg K
Seattle 3.95 .261 821
Pittsburgh 4.31 .260 725