July 9, 2012 in Sports

Felix sharp, but M’s falter in 13

Josh Dubow Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Derek Norris hoists Josh Reddick after his RBI single.
(Full-size photo)

M’s enter the break

The Seattle Mariners head into the MLB All-Star break with a 36-51 record – worst in the American League – and trail the A.L. West-leading Texas Rangers by 17 games. At the break last season, the Mariners sat at 43-48 before closing the season with the second worst record in MLB (67-95).

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Seattle Mariners once again failed to capitalize on a strong start by ace Felix Hernandez.

Hernandez held Oakland in check into the eighth inning before the Athletics won it in the 13th on a game-ending double by Josh Reddick that gave the Mariners a 2-1 loss Sunday in the final game before the All-Star break.

The Mariners lost for the fourth time this season when Hernandez pitched at least seven innings and allowed two or fewer runs. Seattle is just 8-10 when Hernandez takes the mound.

“Those guys, they’re trying very hard,” Hernandez said. “They want to score runs. I believe in this team. I believe in these guys. We’re going to be better. It cannot happen all the time so we’re going to be better.”

Hernandez allowed an RBI infield single to Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning and nothing else in 7 2/3 innings. Hernandez, who is headed to the All-Star game in Kansas City, has once again been one of the few bright spots for the Mariners (36-51).

Seattle has lost nine of 14 and went into the break with a losing record for a third straight season as the hitters once again struggled to generate offense.

“That’s the No. 1 area where we’ve got to get a lot better and we have to damn sure be more consistent,” manager Eric Wedge said. “They have to be ready to come back and be a better ballclub in the second half and be a more balanced ballclub.”

The Mariners squandered a scoring chance in the ninth when Miguel Olivo struck out against Ryan Cook with runners on second and third. They put the leadoff man on in the 12th and got a gift double with two outs in the 13th when Michael Saunders’ fly ball got lost in the sun and sea gulls that hovered over the field.

The A’s then won it in the bottom half. Jemile Weeks led off with a single off Oliver Perez (0-2) and then raced around the bases to score on Reddick’s drive to left-center field that gave the A’s their major league-leading eighth walk-off win of the season and second this series.

Dustin Ackley singled with two outs in the sixth to start a rally. Ichiro Suzuki then blooped a single.

Saunders lined the next pitch to right field for an RBI single that tied the game at 1. But that is all the Mariners would get, leaving Hernandez with a no-decision.

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