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Game 118: Mariners at Tigers

Felix Hernandez (12-4, 2.72) vs. Rick Porcello (10-7, 4.34), 7:05 p.m. EST

After a much needed day off (following 17 straight days of baseball), the Tigers get back on the field and welcome the Seattle Mariners back to Detroit. Last time the Mariners were here, they took two out of three (aided in part by Jarrod Washburn). Can the Tigers make a better showing with a new bat in the lineup (and Washburn now in their starting rotation)?

Felix Hernandez has won only one of his past three starts, despite allowing just five earned runs in 20 innings. He was dominant in his last outing, shutting the White Sox out for seven innings, and striking out 10 batters. Hernandez has lost only once on the road this season, compiling an 8-1 record and 1.96 ERA in 13 starts. The last time he pitched in Detroit, less than a month ago, he held the Tigers to one run and six hits in seven innings, adding eight strikeouts.

Rick Porcello returns to the mound for the Tigers after serving his five-game suspension for his role in last Tuesday's brawl in Boston. Tonight could be an interesting test for him, however. As John Lowe points out in today's Freep, this will be the third time Porcello has faced the Mariners this season. He hasn't faced any other teams more than twice. Will that familiarity work against him?

However, Porcello seems to be a different pitcher than the one who gave up five runs in five innings versus Seattle a few weeks ago. In his last three starts, he's allowed four runs in 14.2 innings, as an adjustment in his mechanics has given him a bit more velocity and helped to keep his off-speed pitches down in the strike zone.

Aubrey Huff makes his Tigers debut as the designated hitter, batting fifth. And make sure you hold onto something when a ball's hit out to left field, because Carlos Guillen is getting the start out there tonight.

Lookout Landing has your SB Nation opposing view for this three-game series.