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Mariners waste Hernandez’s strong outing

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez. (Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez. (Associated Press)

SEATTLE - Jack Hannahan hit a two-run single in the ninth inning off closer Brandon League and the Cleveland Indians rallied for a 2-1 victory over Seattle that cost Mariners ace Felix Hernandez a win after his dominant outing Thursday night.

Hernandez struck out 12 and walked one. He allowed five hits, three in the eighth inning, but ended up with a no-decision.

Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin just about matched the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner pitch for pitch. Tomlin tossed eight innings, yielding one run and five hits. He struck out seven, walked none and threw just 96 pitches.

Chris Perez got three outs for his fourth save in five chances.

Carlos Santana walked and Travis Hafner singled to open the ninth against League. Casey Kotchman’s sacrifice bunt advanced both runners.

League (0-1) walked Shelley Duncan, loading the bases, before Hannahan’s single scored Santana and pinch-runner Aaron Cunningham to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.

It was League’s first blown save since Aug. 23, also against Cleveland.

Lucas Luetge replaced League with two outs and intentionally walked Michael Brantley to load the bases again before getting Jason Kipnis on a groundout.

The Indians tried to mount a rally in the eighth, too, but couldn’t break through. They loaded the bases on three consecutive singles by Hannahan, Jason Donald and Brantley. Donald’s hit was a possible double-play ball that glanced off Hernandez’s leg. Brantley’s grounder went off the tip of Dustin Ackley’s glove at second and was kept in the infield.

Hernandez was in trouble for the first time. Seattle manager Eric Wedge went to the mound and chatted with the right-hander, choosing to leave him in despite having Luetge ready in the bullpen.

Hernandez responded by striking out Kipnis and Shin-Soo Choo. Hernandez hopped off the mound, yelled, and slapped his glove after his 126th pitch.

Seattle gave Hernandez a slim lead in the fifth. Michael Saunders doubled and went to third on Miguel Olivo’s sacrifice. John Jaso hit a hard grounder at second baseman Kipnis, who was pulled in with the rest of the Cleveland infield, and he threw high to home plate. Saunders was safe and Jaso moved to second on the throwing error.

Santana picked up the first hit for the Indians with two outs in the fourth when he hit a 2-1 pitch to left-center for a double. Hernandez already had six strikeouts at that point, and only one prior batter hit the ball out of the infield.

Olivo grounded into a double play with one out and runners on first and third in the second. Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager doubled and Saunders singled, but Olivo’s problems at the plate continued. He’s hitting just .143.

Hernandez also allowed Hafner’s double in the seventh. He went to a 2-1 count on Kotchman before coming back to get an inning-ending strikeout.



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