Hernandez outpitches Bumgarner as Mariners blank Giants
It didn't take long for Felix Hernandez to bounce back from the worst outing of his career. And he did it in impressive fashion outpitching San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner in a pitcher's duel.
Making his first start since he allowed eight runs in one-third of an inning, Hernandez pitched eight innings of four-hit ball to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 2-0 win over the Giants on Wednesday night.
''I thought he was a little bit more pumped up (than usual),'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''I can't imagine that he would be more focused than he usually is, but it was a special outing.''
Hernandez (10-4) struck out five and walked two. The Mariners' ace allowed a runner to reach scoring position twice, but both times he quickly retired the side by inducing a groundout. McClendon was thinking of sending him out for the ninth, but Hernandez, at 106 pitches, thought better of it.
''He asked me,'' Hernandez said. ''I just feel I'm done, I'm good.''
The right-hander is 6-0 with a 1.60 ERA in his last nine starts following a loss. Wednesday's performance came after the debacle in Houston last Friday that matched his shortest career outing. The only other time he lasted just one out was due to an injury in a 2007 start against Minnesota.
''At least I make it through one,'' Hernandez said with a smile. ''I was not that pumped, just trying to (do) my job.''
Charlie Furbush retired the first two batters of the ninth and Carson Smith struck out Matt Duffy for his fourth save in five chances.
Bumgarner (7-4) also gave up four hits in eight innings. He struck out nine and issued one intentional walk.
He lost a perfect-game bid in the fifth, and ran into trouble in the sixth. Mike Zunino singled through the left side for a one-out hit. Austin Jackson followed with an RBI triple into the right-center field gap.
It appeared Angel Pagan, who ran a long way from his position in center, had a play on the ball, but it just missed his glove. Zunino, who had to pause to make sure the ball would drop, safely avoided a tag at the plate to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
''I thought he was going to catch it, but once I seen it drop, I just turned on the gear and did my best to get to third,'' Jackson said.
Robinson Cano followed with an RBI double.
Duffy had a pair of singles for San Francisco and is 5 for 8 in his past two outings.
Mariners: Rookie Mike Montgomery makes his fourth career start in the finale of a two-game set.
Giants: A struggling Ryan Vogelsong, who is sporting a 4.81 ERA, takes the mound for San Francisco.
Mariners: McClendon confirmed that RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is still scheduled for a rehab appearance with Class A Short-Season Everett on Saturday. The former All-Star is recovering from a strained lat, one that has kept him out since April 23.
Giants: OF Gregor Blanco (concussion) could be activated from the disabled list Thursday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Blanco needed to pass the final tests Wednesday, which included taking batting practice and participating in baseball drills.
ODD BOUNCE BREAKS UP PERFECTO
Bumgarner's perfect game was broken up by a ground ball that took a large hop in front of shortstop Brandon Crawford and bounced off his chest. Crawford picked up the ball and threw high to first. The play was ruled a hit for Mark Trumbo. An error was given to Crawford after his throw allowed Trumbo to reach second.
''It was a terrible bounce, one of the worst I've seen, actually,'' Bumgarner said. ''It's frightening.''
When Jackson tripled in the sixth, Zunino had to hold up between first and second to make sure the ball wouldn't be caught. Once it fell safely, the catcher put it in high gear, but still had to make a nifty hook slide to avoid a tag at the plate.
''I saw him starting to come off the line, so I tried to go a little bit wider,'' Zunino said. ''When I saw him reach, I just tried to get around him.''