Hernandez regains form
SEATTLE – Felix Hernandez snapped a personal four-game losing streak, allowing one run over eight innings, and Jose Lopez hit a three-run homer to help the Seattle Mariners beat A.L. Central-leading Minnesota 4-1 on Thursday night.
Hernandez last won on April 21, and Seattle lost each of his next seven starts.
The Mariners’ young ace avoided getting drilled in the head by Justin Morneau’s RBI liner with two outs in the first inning, then settled into a groove. After Morneau’s hit, Hernandez (3-4) retired 22 of the final 27 batters he faced to lead the Mariners to their third victory in four games in the series.
Hernandez even struck out four Twins in the eighth inning after Joe Mauer reached when a third strike in the dirt bounced away from catcher Rob Johnson. No problem for Hernandez, who got Morneau looking to end the inning and added to his strikeout total. It was the third time in Mariners’ history a pitcher struck out four in an inning.
Lopez provided the offense, with his fourth homer of the season in Seattle’s four-run third inning. David Aardsma pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances.
•Before the game, the Mariners promoted right-hander Chad Cordero from Triple-A Tacoma.
Cordero, 28, was one of the National League’s best closers until injuries derailed his career and he missed the past two seasons.
Mariners 4, Twins 1
LOB—Minnesota 6, Seattle 5. 2B—Mauer (15), M.Saunders (3). HR—Jo.Lopez (4), off Pavano. RBIs—Morneau (38), I.Suzuki (13), Jo.Lopez 3 (23). SB—I.Suzuki 3 (16), Jo.Wilson (3), M.Saunders (1). S—Figgins. RLISP—Seattle 2 (Jo.Lopez, Ro.Johnson). RMU—I.Suzuki. GIDP—Delm.Young, Ro.Johnson. DP—Minnesota 1 (Span, Pavano, Punto), (Punto, Tolbert, Morneau); Seattle 1 (Jo.Wilson, Figgins, Kotchman).
WP—F.Hernandez. T—2:21. A—21,291 (47,878).
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