ARLINGTON, Texas – Felix Hernandez said it was “scary,” and the rest of the Seattle Mariners agreed.
Turns out it was a false alarm.
Hernandez took a line drive off his right forearm during the Rangers’ six-run fourth inning Saturday, and Texas used a patchwork lineup to beat the Mariners 7-3 one day after it clinched the American League West title.
The Rangers had already scored four times in the fourth when Hernandez (14-14) was struck by Michael Young’s one-out liner. The reigning A.L. Cy Young Award winner fell to the ground as the ball caromed toward third base for a single.
Hernandez was attended to by a team trainer, and was soon walking to the dugout, grimacing in pain and done for the day. X-rays were negative.
“Nothing’s broke,” Hernandez said. “I was trying to catch (the ball). I’ve been hit before, but not in my arm. It hurt! They were hitting pretty good pitches. They were finding a lot of holes. Then they found me.”
Hernandez was charged with seven runs, five earned, and 12 hits in his shortest outing since he pitched 3 1/3 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on May 7, 2010. He went 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in his final three starts of the season.
M’s manager Eric Wedge was relieved when he heard the right-hander avoided a serious injury.
“We dodged a bullet there,” Wedge said.
Texas secured its second straight division title about 15 hours before the first pitch, and celebrated well into the night. Several Texas regulars were in the dugout, and the Rangers really didn’t need them.
Esteban German and Andres Blanco each had three hits for Texas, which has won six of seven. Reliever Scott Feldman (2-1) earned the victory.
Rangers rookie Leonys Martin made his first big league start. The Cuban center fielder had two hits and scored twice.
Texas trailed 2-1 in the fourth, but that didn’t last. German and Endy Chavez had RBI singles and David Murphy followed with a two-run single.
After Young’s drive knocked out Hernandez, reliever Jeff Gray threw wildly to the plate while trying to record a forceout at home. Two more runs scored on the error, giving Texas a 7-2 lead.
E—Gray 2 (3), Seager (5). LOB—Seattle 3, Texas 8. 2B—Ackley (15), German (1), L.Martin (1). RBIs—Carp (45), Smoak (52), German (3), En.Chavez (27), Dav.Murphy 2 (46), A.Blanco (3). SB—Seager (3), Liddi (1). SF—Carp. RLSP—Seattle 2, Texas 4. RMU—I.Suzuki. GIDP—I.Suzuki, En.Chavez 2, Dav.Murphy. DP—Seattle 3, Texas 1.
IR-S—Gray 3-2. HBP—Gentry, Liddi. WP—Feldman. T—2:38. A—40,242 (49,170).