Ackley hits first homer in Mariners' loss
Felix Hernadez found something to be excited about after losing to the Phillies: Seattle rookie Dustin Ackley.
Ackley, the second player taken in the 2009 draft who made his big league debut for the Mariners Friday, connected on his first home run in the second, a dozen rows into the right-field seats. It came on a 3-2 changeup from Vance Worley.
''I was so happy for him because I think that guy can hit,'' said Hernandez, who gave Ackley a bear hug in the dugout. ''It's true, he can hit.''
The 23-year-old Ackley also singled in his first at-bat Friday.
''He's getting stuff out of the way,'' Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. ''He put up a good at-bat. He gets the barrel to the baseball and he has a very consistent approach. When you have that with his ability, you are going to give yourself a chance up there and that's what he does.''
After his teammates mobbed him, the crowd of 35,829 stood and cheered. Ackley then went up to the dugout's top step and waved to all part of the stadium.
''It was awesome,'' Ackley said. ''That is a great experience, like (Friday) a standing ovation for the first at-bat and first hit. To get another one on the home run was pretty cool to walk out there. I've never done that before. It was a cool feeling.''
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel likes the rookie saying, ''He has a quick bat, short quick swing.''
He also had praise for Hernandez.
''First time I've seen him live. He's pretty good,'' Manuel said. ''After the second, third inning, he got better and better and started to command all his pitches. He's got quite an arsenal.''
He also got the loss.
Hernandez (6-6) lasted seven innings, allowing the three runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Victorino snapped a 1-all tie in the seventh when he hit a ground-rule double with the bases loaded down the left-field line off Hernandez, scoring two runs.
Then with two outs in the ninth, after Jimmy Rollins' third single, Victorino followed with his eighth home run into the right-field seats to make it 5-1. He tripled in the third.
''He had some spunk tonight, didn't he?'' Manuel said.
Rookie Michael Stutes (1-0), who grew up down the road in Lake Oswego, earned his first career victory in his 23rd big league appearance. He went 1 2-3 innings, but left the seventh with two on and two outs.
The Phillies bullpen has not allowed a run in 15 2-3 innings, a span of seven games.
''It's pretty cool that it (win) came so close to home,'' Stutes said. ''I had a bunch of family and friends here to see it. It's kind of lucky thing. We happened to score runs when I'm in the game. But I'm not complaining about it.''
Rollins opened the game with a first-pitch single to right off Hernandez then moved to second on a wild pitch. Victorino followed with a walk. Chase Utley's left-side grounder forced Victorino at second, with Rollins moving to third.
Rollins scored on Ryan Howard's sacrifice fly to deep center.
Worley met with trouble with two outs in the first but escaped by inches. Kennedy singled then Justin Smoak doubled off the wall in left-center. The ball missed carrying out by fewer than six inches.
Third-base coach Jeff Datz, initially waving Kennedy around, put up the stop sign as he hit the bag. Kennedy and Smoak were left stranded when Miguel Olivo grounded out to first.
Hernandez has an American League-leading 108 strikeouts, three more than Detroit's Justin Verlander.
''It was a good game. We beat a good pitcher,'' Manuel said. ''That definitely builds confidence, an aura, laughter. There's a good feeling.''
NOTES: Manuel compared his top two starters with the Mariners' aces: Phillies Cy Young winners Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay and the Mariners 2010 Cy Young winner Hernandez and rookie Michael Pineda. ''They have more power, more explosive fastballs,'' Manuel said of the Mariners duo, ''but my guys have tremendous command with good stuff.'' ... Mariners 3B Chone Figgins rode the bench, with Kennedy starting at third. Manager Eric Wedge couched it as an opportunity to get Kennedy in the lineup rather than to get Figgins, hitting just .195 and being booed by his home team fans, out of it. ''We want to get Adam in there,'' Wedge said. ''One way to get him in there is to play third base. That's why he's in there today.''