SEATTLE -- Rookie left-hander Mike Montgomery will be on the mound at Yankee Stadium for the first time in his career Friday when the Mariners come out of the All-Star break to open a three-game series.
Montgomery, 26, has been outstanding in eight starts since replacing the injured James Paxton in Seattle's rotation. The 6-foot-4 southpaw is 4-3 with a 2.29 ERA, putting him on track to have the second-lowest ERA for a Mariners starting pitcher in the first eight games of their career behind only the 1.93 posted by Paxton in 2013-14.
Felix Hernandez, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday for the Mariners, had a 2.33 ERA in his first eight career starts in 2005.
"I've been impressed with how he goes about his business," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Montgomery. "He's certainly not intimidated. He has a tremendous work ethic. I like what I see. I think he's got a chance to be pretty good."
McClendon announced his pitching probables for the Yankees series on Monday. Montgomery will face Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka in Friday's 4:05 p.m. PT game.
Hisashi Iwakuma, who threw eight scoreless innings Saturday in his second start since coming off the disabled list, will face former Mariners right-hander Michael Pineda in Saturday's 10:05 a.m. PT game.
Hernandez is then scheduled to take on veteran lefty CC Sabathia on Sunday at 10:05 a.m. PT. That would line up the Mariners ace to pitch his next game at Safeco Field against the Blue Jays on July 24 when Seattle opens its next homestand.
Those plans are subject to change depending on if or how much Hernandez pitches in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati, but the presumption is he'll be used for an inning in that game, and then be ready to go again on four days rest in Sunday's finale in New York.
Montgomery and Iwakuma will both be pitching on six days rest.
Veteran left-hander J.A. Happ was optioned to High-A Bakersfield last week to open a 25-man roster spot for designated hitter/first baseman Jesus Montero, but Happ will be recalled after the break. Happ will ikely pitch Monday's series opener in Detroit, which would set up young right-hander Taijuan Walker to start Tuesday's game against the Tigers.