Hernandez struggles again for Mariners
SEATTLE – Another forgettable home night for the Mariners will do nothing to calm fans over two of the bigger concerns facing the franchise.
Felix Hernandez took the mound for the first time in 11 days Tuesday night and looked like he needed another week off. On the offensive side, some more fly balls that died on the warning track in this 5-4 defeat against the San Diego Padres will only intensify the calls to move in the Safeco Field fences.
Making it feel even worse, all of the futility on the mound and at the plate took place against the team with the worst record in the majors. The crowd of 13,084 took out its frustrations on Chone Figgins late in the game after he’d grounded into a double play and helped stop another rally with a strikeout.
Michael Saunders hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to make the final score a little closer. But the Mariners were thwarted for much of the night on deep fly balls that kept coming up short.
Hernandez (4-5) struggled with his command and got hit progressively harder as the game moved along. He allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in five of the six innings he pitched, yet somehow kept the score tied at 1-1 heading to the sixth.
But San Diego broke it open with four runs that inning after the first two batters reached base. With two on and one out, Cameron Maybin singled to center to put the visitors ahead 2-1.
Nick Hundley singled to right field to bring a third Padres run home, then a wild pitch scored another to make it 4-1.
Everth Cabrera drove in the fifth run with a triple to the gap in right center.
The Mariners got their first run when Ichiro Suzuki led off with an infield single in the fourth inning, took second on a Dustin Ackley single, then tagged and went to third on a Jesus Montero flyout.
Ichiro scored on Kyle Seager’s groundout to the right side, tying the game at 1-1.
Roger Jongewaard, the longtime Mariners executive who presided over the drafting of Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 76.
Jongewaard was a giant of the scouting profession, receiving Baseball America’s Roland Hemond Award for lifetime achievement in baseball in 2004. He spent more than 40 years in the game, most recently scouting for the Florida Marlins.
Jongewaard joined the Mariners as director of scouting in 1985, having worked previously with the Angels, Mets and Tigers. In 1989, he became vice president of scouting and player development until stepping down after the 2004 season.
LOB—San Diego 7, Seattle 8. 2B—M.Saunders (18), Figgins (5). 3B—Denorfia (3), E.Cabrera (1). HR—M.Saunders (7), off Thatcher. RBIs—Headley (31), Maybin (21), Hundley (19), E.Cabrera (7), Seager (39), M.Saunders (22), Kawasaki (6). SB—E.Cabrera 3 (8), M.Saunders (10). CS—Venable (6). RLSP—San Diego 4, Seattle 5. RISP—San Diego 4 for 12; Seattle 2 for 10. RMU—J.Montero, Seager. GIDP—Maybin, Figgins. DP—San Diego 1, Seattle 1.
IR-S—Street 1-1, Furbush 1-0. HBP—Quentin. WP—Street, F.Hernandez, Furbush. PB—Olivo. T—3:02. A—13,084 (47,860).