Felix goes 8 strong innings to keep Seattle afloat before M’s bats show up in ninth
CHICAGO — Lloyd McClendon tried to remember each of the five relievers who pitched so well as Saturday afternoon’s game stretched into the early evening. The manager of the Seattle Mariners gave up after a brief moment.
It was enough to know they each had a scoreless outing.
Brad Miller hit an RBI double in the 14th inning and Fernando Rodney earned his AL-best 25th save, leading Seattle to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
“Each and every one of them came in, threw the ball extremely well,” McClendon said of his bullpen, and then added with a chuckle, “I can’t even remember who all pitched it was so long ago.”
Yoervis Medina, Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen (1-1) and Rodney combined for six innings of one-hit relief. Farquhar got five outs and Wilhelmsen pitched two innings.
“Battle of the bullpens there, some good arms being run out, and we just kept fighting,” Miller said.
Michael Saunders reached on an infield single against Ronald Belisario (3-5) and swiped second before Miller hit a drive into the gap in left-center for a ground-rule double. It was Miller’s first hit in six at-bats on the day.
“A lot of character and a lot of grind today,” Saunders said.
Saunders and Logan Morrison had three hits apiece for Seattle, which has won five of six and 11 of 14 overall. Felix Hernandez pitched eight sharp innings to help the Mariners bounce back from Friday night’s 7-1 loss in the series opener.
Chicago managed only four hits while wasting another strong start by Jose Quintana, who struck out 10 in 7 2-3 innings.
“When you play 14 innings and only get four hits obviously they’re doing something right,” second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “Long day.”
The game was scoreless before the White Sox pushed across two runs in the eighth against Hernandez, who had gone 7-1 in his previous 10 starts. Conor Gillaspie had a leadoff triple and scored on Dayan Viciedo’s double. Tyler Flowers added a sacrifice fly.
Quintana allowed four hits and walked one in 7 2-3 scoreless innings. The 10 strikeouts matched a season high for the left-hander, who is 2-0 with a sparkling 0.94 ERA in his last four starts.
“I throw my pitches in the count, throw both sides, getting ahead in the count - it (becomes) more important inning by inning,” Quintana said. “I keep going with that, it’s the best thing for long games for me.”
Chicago was in line for its second straight win against Seattle before the Mariners rallied in the ninth. Mike Zunino had a sacrifice fly against Zach Putnam before consecutive two-out singles by Morrison and Saunders produced the tying run.
Morrison’s grounder went off the glove of diving first baseman Jose Abreu and bounced past Beckham on the way to right field.
Hernandez allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked one. The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner is 1-5 with a 4.50 ERA in nine career starts at the White Sox.
“He did a great job today and kept us in the ballgame the entire way through,” Saunders said.
Hernandez and Quintana were locked in an impressive duel before the late scoring.
Quintana struck out six while retiring his first 11 batters, including the side in the second. Robinson Cano had a two-out single for Seattle’s first baserunner in the fourth, but Quintana fanned Corey Hart to end the inning.
Hernandez was just as dominant, retiring 11 in a row after Adam Eaton’s leadoff single in the first. He also set down 10 in a row in another impressive stretch.
Hernandez got some help from his defense. James Jones crashed into wall in center to rob Abreu of extra bases in the fourth, and left fielder Willie Bloomquist made a leaping grab on the warning track on Viciedo’s drive in the fifth.
The White Sox had their own defensive gem in the 11th inning when Adam Eaton reached back to grab Morrison’s leadoff drive while slamming into the wall in center.
Quintana also had 10 strikeouts in a no-decision against Detroit on April 29. His career high is 11, set last July 4 against Baltimore. … Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said LHP James Paxton threw “extremely well” during his bullpen session on Friday. Paxton is on the 60-day DL with a left lat dorsi muscle strain. “It was very good news yesterday,” McClendon said. “He continues to progress and hopefully he’ll be back soon.” … OF Cole Gillespie, who designed for assignment by Seattle on Friday, was claimed off waivers by Toronto. … Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker (1-0, 4.50 ERA) faces RHP Hector Noesi (2-6, 5.33 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday. The 21-year-old Walker, one of the majors’ top pitching prospects, tossed six innings in a 10-4 victory at Houston last Monday in his season debut with Seattle.
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