SEATTLE – While the throng crowded around Jose Lopez’s locker, Felix Hernandez made sure he was heard over anyone else in the Seattle clubhouse.
“Jose Lopez! Thank you man, I appreciate it!” Hernandez shouted after the Mariners scored a 4-1 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday night.
Lopez hit his second career grand slam off Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning, and Hernandez outlasted Javier Vazquez to lead the Mariners to a come-from-behind victory.
Held hitless into the sixth inning by Vazquez, the Mariners offense came alive against the Yankees burly reliever, and Hernandez (7-5) earned his third straight complete-game victory against New York, which had its season-best seven-game winning streak snapped.
Seattle loaded the bases against Chamberlain (1-4) on a fielder’s choice by Ichiro Suzuki, single by Chone Figgins and intentional walk to Russell Branyan.
Lopez then caught up with Chamberlain’s rising 96 mph fastball, sending a drive to left field that barely cleared the hand-operated scoreboard. It was his sixth homer and second grand slam this season.
“I was trying to bring one run in. That was my first point, to tie the game,” Lopez said. “When it got 2-0 I think in my mind that I have to swing hard. He was going to come in with a fastball and he throws hard, he throws like 96, 97. I tried to catch a fastball and I did.”
Lopez’s shot gave Heranndez another accolade in his already memorable young career. Hernandez became the first pitcher in 19 years to throw three straight complete games against the Yankees, according to the Mariners.
Justin Smoak’s debut with Seattle was mostly forgettable. Smoak was the centerpiece, from Seattle’s standpoint, of the trade that sent Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe to Texas for Smoak and three minor leaguers. Smoak, who arrived in Seattle about six hours before gametime, struck out three times and was hitless in his Mariners debut.
Closing out the Yankees didn’t come easily for Hernandez.
Curtis Granderson led off the ninth with a double and pinch-hitter Derek Jeter reached on an infield single, but Hernandez struck out Colin Curtis, Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner, all looking to finish off the victory.
“That’s one reason why Felix should have been an All-Star,” Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. “To go out and see that performance … to see him compete the way he did.”
Two weeks ago, Hernandez tossed a two-hitter at Yankee Stadium.
Hernandez wasn’t as overpowering on Saturday, scattering 10 hits and strucking out nine. It was his 11th complete game, fourth of the season and third in his last five starts.
Mariners 4, Yankees 1
|New York||001||000||000 – 1||10||0|
|Seattle||000||000||04x – 4||6||0|
LOB – New York 9, Seattle 5. 2B – Granderson (9). HR – Swisher (15), off F.Hernandez; Jo.Lopez (6), off Chamberlain. RBIs – Swisher (49), Jo.Lopez 4 (37). CS – Gardner (6). RLISP – New York 4 (Cervelli 2, Cano, Gardner); Seattle 3 (Jo.Lopez, Bradley 2). GIDP – Swisher. DP – Seattle 1 (Ja.Wilson, Smoak).
|Chamberlain L, 1-4 BS, 3-5||1||3||4||4||1||0||19||5.79|
Hernandez W, 7-5
IBB – off Chamberlain (Branyan). WP – Vazquez, Chamberlain. T – 2:45. A – 42,558 (47,878).