August 12, 2013 in Sports

Mariners ride ace Hernandez to victory

Seattle starter hurls 8 shutout innings in win
Jayson Jenks Seattle Times
Associated Press photo

Mariners’ Felix Hernandez allowed just four hits for his 12th victory.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE – Felix Hernandez shrugs off any gawking over his numbers.

“They’re all right,” he deadpanned.

He also doesn’t want to put his season into perspective.

“Not yet,” he said.

So we’ll do both for him: Hernandez turned in one of his most dazzling performances Sunday in what has already been a dazzling season. He neutered the Brewers’ offense for eight shutout innings, allowing only four hits, striking out nine and carrying the Mariners to a 2-0 win before 25,390 Sunday.

“Felix was Felix,” acting Mariners manager Robby Thompson said.

Hernandez has been so good he’s put himself right in the mix for another Cy Young Award. Sports Illustrated’s Cliff Corcoran named him the American League favorite late last month and had him and Detroit’s Max Scherzer as the two front runners.

Hernandez is 12-5, and he had only 13 wins when he won the Cy Young in 2010. He has an American League-leading 2.28 earned-run average, is second in the majors in strikeouts (178) and third in innings pitched (173 2/3 )

He only helped his cause by dominating the Brewers.

Hernandez was so masterful that the Brewers elected to bring the infield in with a runner on third and one out in a scoreless tie – in the third inning.

“They’re smart,” outfielder Dustin Ackley said. “They know what kind of pitcher Felix is. I think that’s a huge sign of respect to Felix.”

The Mariners offense didn’t do much to make life easier on Hernandez, but they did just enough with their four hits. Dustin Ackley led off the third inning with a double. Brendan Ryan, who’s hitting .189, advanced Ackley to third by grounding out to second.

It went down in the box score as an out, but Ryan received pats on the helmet and high-fives all around when he got back to the dugout because, as Thompson put it, “He did his job.”

The advancement proved important shortly after when Ackley scored on a wild pitch, giving the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Seattle’s only other run came on a solo home run in the fifth inning from Justin Smoak, his 13th.

Hernandez, though, didn’t need much wiggle room.

“I was on it,” he said. “I was concentrating and just throwing good pitches.”

At one point, Hernandez retired 11 straight hitters. His only real jam came in the second inning, when he had runners on second and third with one out. He responded with a strikeout and flyout to end the inning.

“You don’t really get any pitches to drive,” Brewers DH Jonathan Lucroy said. “He made very few mistakes today. He probably made one mistake to me all day in three at-bats. One. And I didn’t swing.”

Hernandez also had solid defensive help. In the sixth inning, Ryan and Brad Miller combined for a nice double play after the leadoff man singled. Then, in the same inning, 41-year-old catcher Henry Blanco gunned down Jean Segura attempting to steal second.

Blanco has now thrown out four of seven runners this season.

Schafer rf400000.224
Segura ss401002.311
Lucroy dh401000.281
Gomez cf400002.286
Gindl lf200011.282
Francisco 1b301001.250
Bianchi 3b300002.245
Gennett 2b301000.270
Maldonado c301002.183
Miller 2b300001.257
Chavez rf300000.270
Seager 3b300000.290
Morales dh300002.292
Ibanez lf300001.246
Saunders lf000000.230
Smoak 1b311100.270
Ackley cf311000.224
Ryan ss301000.189
Blanco c301000.181

LOB—Milwaukee 4, Seattle 1. 2B—J.Francisco (10), Ackley (12). HR—Smoak (13). RBIs—Smoak (31). CS—Segura (8). RLISP—Milwaukee 2 (Gennett 2). RMU—Ryan. GIDP—L.Schafer. DP—Seattle 1.

Peralta L, 8-128422044.30
Hrnandz W, 12-58400192.28
Farquhar S, 4-61100014.82


Umpires—Home, Cory Blaser; First, Tim Welke; Second, Dan Bellino; Third, Bruce Dreckman.

T—2:11. A—25,390 (47,476).

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email