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SEA@LAA: Hernandez allows just two hits over seven

Felix Hernandez has been on a roll of late. A historic roll, even.

Hernandez will take the mound Friday night against the Orioles at Safeco Field with a chance to record his 13th straight start of seven or more innings with two or fewer runs allowed. Tom Seaver is the only Major League pitcher to achieve that feat since 1900, as he had a run of 13 such starts in 1971 with the Mets.

Hernandez has already tied the American League record of 12 set by Hall of Famer Chief Bender with the Philadelphia A's in 1907. Three other National League pitchers -- Dwight Gooden (1985-86), Mike Scott (1986) and Ferdie Schupp (1916-17) -- also did the deed a dozen times in a row.

Manager Lloyd McClendon said he hasn't seen anyone pitch as well as Hernandez has this season in his 35 years in the game.

"It's mind-boggling," McClendon said.

The streak goes to Hernandez's amazing consistency this season, as he's posted an AL-leading 2.02 ERA with an 11-2 record. He allowed just two hits and an unearned run in his previous outing, a no-decision in a game the Mariners won, 3-2, in 12 innings over the Angels.

For Hernandez, who started his first All-Star Game last week, it's all pretty simple.

"When you go out there, you've just got to make pitches and try to get people out," he said.

Hernandez is 7-1 with a 1.37 ERA over his last 12 starts. He'll be making his first start against the Orioles since 2012, back when his opponent on Friday night, Kevin Gausman, was still starring at LSU.

Baltimore took Gausman No. 4 overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, and the right-handed flamethrower quickly ascended Baltimore's system before debuting last season.

Gausman still hasn't nailed down a permanent spot in the Orioles' rotation, though -- he's been up and down from the Minors all season -- and his performance in the Majors has been hot and cold. The 23-year-old has allowed five runs on three occasions and one or zero runs in each of his five other starts.

His last outing against Oakland was one of the bad ones -- he gave up nine hits and five runs in just four innings -- but the youngster wasn't discouraged, especially since he had stymied the A's in his second start this year.

"I think it's easy when you have a bad outing to just think a little bit too much, think about what you did wrong," Gausman said. "They were just really aggressive that day and there's some balls that fell that you just kind of tip your hat to them. It's just part of the learning process."

That learning process will continue Friday night against a new-look Mariners lineup, which will be welcoming back Kendrys Morales.

Mariners: Morales will get first start Friday
Morales, acquired from the Twins in a Thursday trade for reliever Stephen Pryor, is expected to join the team in time for Friday's game, and manager Lloyd McClendon said he would slide him into the cleanup role behind No. 3 hitter Robinson Cano.

"He's a professional hitter and this gives us an opportunity to stretch out our lineup," McClendon said. "He's a nice fit. He's a switch-hitter that can hit behind Robbie. It gives us options with what we want to do with [Kyle] Seager and where we want to hit him. I like it."

Morales rejoins the Mariners after departing in free agency following last season, when he led Seattle with a .277 average and 80 RBIs while hitting 23 home runs. He didn't sign with the Twins until June 8 and got off to a slow start, but he had a 12-game hitting streak until going 0-for-4 in his last game with Minnesota on Wednesday.

Orioles: Paredes acquired from Royals
The Orioles acquired infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations on Thursday. Paredes had been designated for assignment last week by Kansas City, and was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk following the trade.

Paredes played for the Astros from 2011-13 before an extensive stay on the waiver wire this offseason that saw him go from Houston to the Marlins to the Royals to the Orioles. He ended up recording just two singles in 10 plate appearances for Kansas City, but put together a strong .305/.332/.457 batting line in 280 plate appearances along with 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts for Triple-A Omaha.

In 406 big league plate appearances across four seasons, Paredes has totaled a .233/.272/.308 batting line with three homers, 31 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

Worth noting:
• Morales' arrival means Corey Hart and Logan Morrison will split time at first base, with Morrison likely to get most of the starts against right-handed pitchers. The Orioles have right-handers pitching the final three games of the series at Safeco Field.

• Manny Machado wasn't in the Orioles' lineup for the third consecutive game Thursday as he continued to recover from lower back tightness.

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