SEATTLE-- The Seattle Mariners will put their two best pitchers on the mound this week as they host a key series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Seattle and Toronto are 1.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals for the second American League wild card spot. The Los Angeles Angels lead the wild card race, six games ahead of Seattle.

Felix Hernandez (12-3) will get the start for the Mariners against Drew Hutchison Monday night. Hernandez leads American League starters with a 1.97 ERA, but the Mariners have struggled to give him run support.

Hernandez is currently riding a Major League record with 15 quality starts. That means he s given up two runs or fewer with at least 7 innings pitched.

Hutchison is 8-9, but his ERA on the road (3.27) is much better than at home (6.46).

Hernandez was scheduled to start Sunday against the White Sox, but Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon held him an extra day to face Toronto. It s something McClendon has done a few times this season to make sure his best pitcher faces key opponents in the wild card chase.

Seattle s Chris Young (10-6, 3.27 ERA) will face J.A. Happ (8-6, 4.09) Tuesday night. Hisashi Iwakuma (10-6, 2.86 ERA) will wrap up the series for Seattle Wednesday against R.A. Dickey (9-11, 3.99 ERA).

After this series, the Mariners have another tough task when they hit the road to face the Detroit Tigers starting Friday. Detroit is scheduled to throw out former Cy Young winners David Price and Justin Verlander in the first two games of that series.

Hernandez looks likely to face Verlander on Saturday for a matchup of former Cy Young winners.

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