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SEA@OAK: Felix strikes out eight over seven scoreless

In his nine seasons with the Mariners, the Angels have been one of few teams to consistently trouble ace Felix Hernandez.

Last year against the Angels, Hernandez went 0-3 with a 6.25 ERA in five starts. In his career against the Halos, the right-hander is just 7-12 with a 3.96 ERA. However, the tide may have turned this season. On April 27 against the Halos, Hernandez gave up just one earned run on five hits in eight innings for the win.

Hernandez, 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 29 strikeouts in his last four starts, will look to have that same type of success in Thursday's series finale between the American League West rivals at Angel Stadium.

"I'm feeling pretty good right now," said Hernandez, who threw seven scoreless innings at Oakland in his last start.

Matching up with Hernandez poses a tough challenge for Angels right-hander Tommy Hanson, who takes the hill Thursday just starting to find his groove this season.

"Really, I'm not facing him, I'm facing their lineup, Hanson said. "I've just got to go out, make my pitches. I've learned that you can't worry about who is pitching on the other side, you just got to go out and do what you can do and that's try to attack the hitters and try to get them out."

Hanson said Saturday's matchup against the Yankees, just his eighth start of the season, was the most confident he'd felt this year. He limited New York to two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings for his second straight win. He also struck out a season-high eight.

"I feel like I can go out and compete with any team that's going to be out there," Hanson said. "I know if I go out there and make my pitches, I'll have success."

Mariners: Temporary DH/1B platoon
Justin Smoak was given Wednesday off as manager Eric Wedge went with Michael Morse back at first base and Kendrys Morales at designated hitter.

"We can only get two of those three guys in there between Smoak, Morales and Morse," Wedge said. "Until Morse is able to get in the outfield, this is what we'll have to do."

Morse sat out Tuesday to rest a strained right quadriceps muscle, Morales has been hampered by a sore back and Smoak only returned from 20 days on the disabled list with a strained oblique on Tuesday.

Angels: Hamilton dropped to seventh in order
After making eight outs in five plate appearances on Tuesday, which dropped his batting average to .213, Josh Hamilton was moved down to the seventh spot Wednesday.

"When you're struggling and you stay in that spot when you feel like you've done about anything you can to get out of it, the confidence starts to waver some," Hamilton said. "Guys have been great, encouraging, things like that -- coaching staff, everybody."

The change put Peter Bourjos back in the leadoff spot and dropped Mike Trout to second, a place Angels manager Mike Scioscia prefers he hit.

"I think it's going to be good for him to not worry about hitting in the middle of the lineup -- just go down there and play baseball for a little bit and find his stroke," said Scioscia.

Hamilton finished the 1-0 win going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

Worth noting
• The Mariners announced Wednesday that 15 more players selected in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft have agreed to contract terms. The club has now signed 28 of its 40 selections.

• Multi-platinum recording group Big & Rich will kick off the Angels' summer concert series on Saturday after the Halos face the Pirates.

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