CLEVELAND — Felix Hernandez’s record-setting night ended with another road loss to the Indians.
The Mariners’ ace right-hander only allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings Wednesday night, but was outdueled by Corey Kluber as Cleveland beat Seattle 2-0.
Hernandez (11-3) became the first pitcher in baseball history with 14 consecutive starts of at least seven innings and two or fewer runs allowed, breaking the mark of Tom Seaver of the New York Mets from July 17-Sept. 16, 1971.
Kluber (11-6), however, was even better in throwing a three-hitter for his first career shutout. Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano and Logan Morrison accounted for Seattle’s only base runners with singles.
“It was a tough game against a tough pitcher who did a great job tonight,” said Hernandez, who struck out five. “Setting the record means a lot to me because I’ve got to be consistent, but I’m not happy because we lost. That’s just baseball.”
Cleveland only managed one hit in eight innings against Hernandez on June 29 in Seattle, but beat the former American League Cy Young winner at home again.
In 10 career starts at Progressive Field, Hernandez is 3-6 with a 4.27 ERA. He is 118-83 in every other ballpark.
“Felix is a little down because he believes he let the team down, but I’m pretty proud of him,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Once you get past the loss, it was a historic night and a great individual accomplishment for him.”
Hernandez carried a perfect game into the fifth, but Carlos Santana led off with a walk and Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a double. Both scored on a double by Yan Gomes that bounced directly over first base, resulting in the only runs.
Hernandez took the blame for failing to cover first base on Nick Swisher’s infield that that loaded the bases earlier in the inning.
“That was terrible,” he said. “It was all my fault.”
It was Hernandez’s first loss since June 13 at Texas, and dropped Seattle three games behind Toronto for the final AL wild-card spot.
“Both starters were great,” Seager said. “Felix only had that one rough inning, and that was on a great pitch to (Gomes). We didn’t do our part, but that shouldn’t take anything away from him setting a pretty impressive record.”
McClendon said he wasn’t concerned about how his roster could change before the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday. “I just focus on what I’ve got because it’s the only way you can operate,” he said.
Ackley retains No. 1 spot
Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley batted leadoff for the second straight game and the second time this season. Right fielder Endy Chavez, who had been atop the order before jamming his left little finger, hit second. “Dustin is swinging the bat good, so it would be hard to take him out of that spot,” McClendon said. Ackley went 0 for 4 to snap his seven-game hitting streak, while Chavez was 0 for 3.
Seattle left-hander James Paxton (left back muscle strain) threw a 45-pitch bullpen session and declared himself “ready to compete.” Paxton has been on the disabled list since April 9, but went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two outings before his injury. “To be able to throw as hard as I can felt really great,” he said. Paxton could be activated to start Saturday in Baltimore.
Mariners right-hander Chris Young (9-6) takes on Indians righty Zach McAllister (3-6) in the three-game series finale Thursday. Young has won both of his career starts against Cleveland, posting a 0.69 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 13 innings. McAllister’s 5.65 ERA is the highest of the eight starters used by the Indians this year.
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