Showcasing his usual dominant form, Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez set an American League record Friday, recording his 13th consecutive start with seven or more innings pitched and two or fewer runs allowed, per Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times.
Though his Mariners eventually lost 2-1 to the Baltimore Orioles in 10 innings, Hernandez exited the contest after seven frames, having allowed just one run—courtesy of a Nelson Cruz solo homer—on five hits and no walks.
The right-handed ace struck out 10 Orioles, marking the fifth time in 22 starts this season that he's recorded double-digit punchouts. He has at least eight strikeouts in each of his last five starts and ranks second in the major leagues with 173 for the season.
Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price leads the majors with 183 strikeouts, but Hernandez's 1.99 ERA makes the Seattle right-hander the easy favorite for AL Cy Young honors. Price has a more modest 3.08 ERA and 11-7 record, while Hernandez has an 11-2 record to complement his fantastic ERA, which ranks second in the AL to only Chris Sale's 1.88 mark.
According to FanGraphs.com, Hernandez easily leads AL pitchers in wins above replacement, with his 5.5 topping the 4.5 of Boston Red Sox lefty Jon Lester. Over in the National League, Los Angeles Dodgers hurler Clayton Kershaw has a league-best 4.1 WAR, along with an MLB-best 1.76 ERA.
Hernandez will head into Wednesday's start in Cleveland with a chance to earn another piece of history, as no pitcher has ever recorded 14 consecutive starts of seven innings or more with two of fewer runs allowed. Per The Seattle Times, Tom Seaver equaled Hernandez's feat in 1971, when the right-hander recorded 13 such outings in a row for the New York Mets.