Today’s pitchers: Hernandez vs. Smoltz

RHP David Hernandez (2-2, 3.55) today makes his 7th start of this season, his 5th on the road and the 1st of his career vs. Boston.

Hernandez allowed just one run over six innings but did not get a decision last Monday at New York. He gave up just three hits, throwing 103 pitches.

Over his last three starts, Hernandez is 1-0, 2.89 (6ER in 18 2/3IP).

Right-handed batters are hitting .286 vs. Hernandez while lefties bat .257. He has allowed an average of just .158 when pitching with runners in scoring position.

Hernandez has recorded three straight quality starts. The O’s are 3-3 in his six starts in 2009.

The 24-year-old went 3-2, 3.30 in 11 starts this year at Triple-A Norfolk.

RHP John Smoltz (1-3, 6.31) today makes his 6th Major League start of this season, his 3rd at home and his 2nd this year vs. Baltimore.

Smoltz, coming off right shoulder surgery from last June, did not make his first big league outing of this season until June 25th.

Smoltz made six minor league rehab starts before that outing, going 1-1, 2.63 over 27 1/3 innings.

Smoltz has allowed five runs or more in three of his five starts and Boston is 1-4 in his five outings. Right-handed batters are hitting .268 against Smoltz and lefties are batting .340 vs. him.

Smoltz pitched twenty years (1988-2008) with Atlanta. His career record is 211-150, 3.28 in 3,421 innings, making 471 starts.

He is the only pitcher in Major League history with more than 200 wins and 150 career saves. He and Dennis Eckersley are the only two pitchers ever to record both a 20-win season and a 50-save season.

Smoltz is an 8-time all-star. He won the Cy Young award in 1996, going 24-8, 2.94. He is 16th on the all-time strikeouts list with 3,033.

Smoltz did not get a decision when he pitched at Baltimore on June 30th. In four innings he gave up three hits and one run. The O’s eventually rallied to win that game, 11-10.

In his career vs. the O’s, Smoltz is 1-1, 4.05 in seven games, four starts. In 26 2/3 innings, he has allowed 26 hits with four walks and 21 strikeouts.

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