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
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.”