Mariners 3, Angels 1

Felix Hernandez’s season can’t be fully measured by his so-so

won-loss record. It seems his value this year as the Seattle

Mariners’ ace is how well he ‘holds’ victories.

Hernandez held the Los Angeles Angels to just three hits and no

runs through seven innings, walking three and striking out eight.

Then as soon as he left his teammates rallied for a 3-1 victory

Tuesday night.

Adam Moore’s broken-bat RBI single highlighted a three-run rally

in the eighth inning for the comeback victory.

Brandon League (9-6), who took over for Hernandez in the eighth,

earned the victory. David Aardsma worked the ninth to pick up his

26th save in 31 opportunities.

League leads the league in relief wins, no doubt borrowing a few

from Hernandez’s usual allotment.

Hernandez has the third lowest run support average in the

American League at 3.44 runs per outing.

He has the second best ERA (2.38) and is tied for first in

strikeouts, reaching 200 for the second year in a row. One reason

why he has a .500 record (10-10) is because in his 10 losses his

teammates have scored a combined 10 runs for him.

They couldn’t score any for him when he was on the mound

Tuesday, giving him yet another ‘hold.’

”We win. That’s the most important thing,” Hernandez said with

a smile. ”I do my part. Give us a chance to win. That’s what we

did. We win the game.”

Dan Haren matched Hernandez, going seven innings, allowing seven

hits, walking two and striking out eight.

”He is one of the best. It’s not the first time I’ve matched

against him,” Haren said of Hernandez. ”He’s got everything, a 95

mph sinker can get the double play when he needs to, good slider,

curveball, changeup. I knew it was going to be a tight, real close.

I don’t know if I’d want to hit off him.

”We made him work, too. He had 70 pitches through four innings

so it wasn’t a cake walk for him.”

The Angels had a couple early chances.

In the second, they loaded the bases with one out on a couple

singles and a walk. But Jeff Mathis bounced into a double play.

”I’m thinking, threw a sinker, make sure you get a double

play,” Hernandez said.

With one out in the third, Alberto Callaspo singled. He stole

second then continued to third when the ball bounced off Chone

Figgins’ glove for an error.

Howard Kendrick attempted a squeeze bunt on the first pitch but

fouled it off. He finally hit a two-hopper to third and Jose Lopez

threw Callaspo out at home.

”We had him on the ropes a couple times and couldn’t get some

early run, which could have made a difference,” Angels manager

Mike Scioscia said. ”He really settled down and made some pitches

when he had to.”

The Mariners have erred on the side of caution with Hernandez

work load this season. He was still strong through seven but

Manager Daren Brown lifted him.

”He threw 104 pitches tonight and he was coming off 120 his

last start,” Brown said. ”Going along with what we said the last

month and a half of the season, taking care of him a bit, I thought

that was enough. He did his job and I thought he was


But Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the eighth when Kendrick’s

double scored Callaspo. It was just the third run allowed by League

since the All-Star break in a span of 24 2-3 innings.

The Mariners faced reliever Kevin Jepsen (2-4), coming in for

Haren. Jepsen walked Russell Branyan with one out. Matt Tuiasosopo

pinch ran for him.

Lopez followed with a single and Casey Kotchman walked. Michael

Saunders hit a sac-fly to right to score Tuiasosopo.

Moore then hit his looping game-winner just over the reach of

second baseman Kendrick.

”It was especially big after giving up one run in the top of

the eighth coming right back and scoring three in the bottom of the

inning,” Brown said. ”It was a nice at-bat from Saunders for the

sac-fly and a big two-strike hit from Adam Moore. It cost him a bat

but I think he’ll take that trade every time.”

Josh Wilson followed with an RBI single to score Kotchman.

”Felix did a great job. He got us in and out of the dugout

quick,” Saunders said. ”Once again, he pitched a great game.

That’s him. He’s consistent. Too bad we weren’t able to give him

some runs earlier. He deserves the win tonight.

”But he kept us in the game. He did his job. We did our job – a

little later than we’d like.”

Notes: The game opened with a line drive from Callaspo directly

at Hernandez’s head. He twisted away as he fell, instinctively

putting his glove up. He somehow caught the ball. … RH Shawn

Kelley, on the disabled list since June 16, will have surgery on

his ailing right elbow Wednesday. It’s uncertain what doctors will

find. ”Hopefully, it’s something that they can fix and have him

ready by spring training,” Mariners manager Daren Brown said.

Angels RH Ervin Santana has won 14 games this season and is among

the leaders in complete games (3). Last season, he was 8-8 with a

5.01 ERA. ”Compared to last year his consistency is better, his

command is better, his ability to repeat pitches. Everything is at

a higher level,” Scioscia said. ”Maybe not lot attention has been

paid as far as fans or media but as far as we’ve seen and other

people, players and managers we talked to, they’ve seen how well

he’s throwing the ball.”