Hernandez, M’s sweep away Royals with 7-6 win
SEATTLE — Felix Hernandez shook off a line drive to his left wrist and threw seven strong innings, and the Seattle Mariners overcame bullpen problems to beat the Kansas City Royals 7-6 Sunday for a four-game sweep.
Seattle swept Kansas City in a four-game set for the first time since May 2001.
Hernandez gave up just five hits and two runs but lost out on his sixth straight win when the Mariners’ bullpen gave up three runs in the eighth.
Mike Carp opened the Seattle eighth with his third hit, a double that thudded off the wall in left. Munenori Kawasaki came on as a pinch-runner and Trayvon Robinson laid down a perfect sacrifice up the third-base line.
Reliever Jose Mijares (2-2) fielded the bunt, but his throw was rushed and the ball went rolling into foul territory as Kawasaki scored the go-ahead run. Casper Wells added an RBI single later in the inning.
Tom Wilhelmsen gave up a run in the ninth, but still finished his 14th save in 16 chances.
Even though Hernandez didn’t get the decision, his performance Sunday continued a brilliant six weeks of pitching from the former AL Cy Young Award winner. Hernandez has not lost since June 12 and has allowed a combined 12 earned runs over his last 67 1/3 innings, watching his ERA plummet from 3.70 to 2.79 over the last nine starts.
Hernandez got a scare in the fourth when he hung a 3-2 breaking ball to Eric Hosmer that was lined back up the middle and off the inside of the right-hander’s left wrist. Manager Eric Wedge and trainer Rick Griffin were immediately to the mound as Hernandez grimaced in discomfort, but never left the field.
Hernandez struggled to start the fifth, giving up a run on Alcides Escobar’s infield groundout, but retired his final nine batters. He struck out six and walked two.
The injured wrist seemed to bother Hernandez. He sometimes caught return throws from catcher Miguel Olivo or his infielders with his bare hand rather than his glove.
Lucas Luetge started the eighth for Seattle with a strikeout and was replaced by Brandon League, who gave up three hits and three runs while recording just one out.
The big blow came after League was pulled when Hosmer grounded a two-run single off Oliver Perez (1-2) that allowed Butler and Salvador Perez to score after both had advanced on a wild pitch earlier in the at-bat.
Carp drove in a run in his fifth straight game when he lined a double the other way down the left field line in the second inning to score Kyle Seager. He also scored on Robinson’s double in the fifth and Brendan Ryan followed with a sacrifice fly to score Carp.
Seager added a two-out, two-run single in the seventh after Jesus Montero was intentionally walked. Seager now has 36 two-out RBIs on the season, tops in the American League.
The MRI on the right knee of Royals 3B Mike Moustakas showed no damage and he is expected to be back for Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians. Moustakas hurt his knee when making a play behind third base Saturday. Moustakas dove, then rolled over to throw to first and hurt his knee while doing so. … Royals were swept in a four-game series for the second time this season. The previous time was against Toronto. … Seattle improved to 11-6 since the All-Star break, the second-best mark in the American League.
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