Game of the day: Boston at Seattle, 10:05 p.m. Felix Hernandez earned the American League Cy Young Award last season in spite of an offense that supplied one run or fewer in 10 of his 34 starts, so a lack of run support is nothing new for the powerful right-hander. Hernandez keeps producing on the mound (3.31 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 179 1 / 3 innings this season), while the last-place Mariners struggle at the plate (one run or fewer in seven of Hernandez’s 25 starts). Offense should be at a premium again Saturday night when the ace squares off with Boston’s Josh Beckett at Safeco Field. Hernandez gave up six runs in a start at Boston last month but has allowed just five total runs in his three starts since then. Beckett has recorded five straight quality starts and lowered his ERA to 2.17 when he held the Yankees to one run in six innings in a no-decision on Sunday night.
Other game to watch: San Francisco at Florida, 7:05 p.m. The scuffling Giants (64-55) would like a series win against the Marlins to ensure the surging Diamondbacks (66-53) don’t creep too far away in the National League West. After dropping Friday’s series opener for their 11th loss in 14 games, the defending World Series champs turn to ace Tim Lincecum. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has allowed just five earned runs in 33 2 / 3 innings in his five starts since the all-star break, but he’s just 3-2 in that span. Florida, which has lost seven of eight, sends out Javier Vazquez. The veteran right-hander struggled early in the season but has a 2.19 ERA in his past 10 starts.
Games you should have seen
Cleveland 3, Minnesota 2: Matt LaPorta and Carlos Santana cracked run-scoring doubles in the eighth inning to power the Indians past the Twins. Tsuyoshi Nishioka singled home the go-ahead run for Minnesota in the top of the eighth before Cleveland (59-57) rallied against reliever Glen Perkins in the bottom of the inning, dropping the Twins to their 10th loss in 12 games.
Cincinnati 5, San Diego 3: Jay Bruce crushed a go-ahead three-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning to propel the Reds to their third straight win. Protecting a one-run lead, Padres reliever Josh Spence intentionally walked Joey Votto to get to Bruce, and the outfielder responded with his 24th homer of the season. Francisco Cordero finished out the win with a perfect ninth.
Stat you should know: 5 The number of home runs allowed by Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia in Friday’s 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay. Johnny Damon, Elliott Johnson, Casey Kotchman, Evan Longoria and Kelly Shoppach each smacked solo shots for the Rays. Sabathia — who lost his second straight start — had never given up more than three homers in a game. Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano also allowed five home runs on Friday, marking just the second time in major league history that two pitchers gave up that many long balls on the same day.
Star of the night: Los Angeles Angels starter Ervin Santana continued his recent string of dominant outings in Friday’s 5-1 win in Toronto. The right-hander tossed a complete game, allowing only a ninth-inning home run to Eric Thames, en route to winning his fifth straight start. He allowed seven hits and struck out six. Santana (9-8) did not allow more than one run in any of those five wins, which included three complete games.
Chatter: “I’m really disappointed. His locker is empty. He walked out on 24 guys. . . . I don’t know where he’s gone or what he’s doing. He’s talking about retiring . . . but I can’t have a guy walking out on 24 guys.” — Chicago Cubs Manager Mike Quade on Carlos Zambrano, who gave up eight runs in a 10-4 loss to Atlanta on Friday before being ejected for twice throwing inside to Chipper Jones. Quade said the famously volatile right-hander cleared his locker and left without speaking to him before the game’s conclusion.