10:10 PM ET, August 11, 2014
Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
Mariners score 11 to back another impressive Felix Hernandez outing
SEATTLE -- For all that Felix Hernandez has done in his career, pitching meaningful games in the final two months of the season has been a rarity.
With Seattle in the thick of the wild-card chase in the American League, Hernandez got the Mariners' most anticipated home series since 2007 off to an electric start Monday night.
Hernandez allowed one run in seven strong innings, extending his major league record streak, and Robinson Cano provided a jolt of run support as Seattle romped to an 11-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Hernandez twirled another gem, making his 16th straight start of at least seven innings while allowing two earned runs or fewer. Hernandez needed just 96 pitches to get through seven, and his only mistake was Jose Bautista's solo home run in the fourth.
Felix Extends Record Streak
Felix Hernandez has recorded 16 consecutive starts with at least seven innings pitched and two or fewer runs allowed, blowing past Tom Seaver's previous record.
Consecutive Starts of 7+ IP, 2 R or Fewer
Single Season Since 1900
Single Season Since 1900
|*Extended on Monday
-- Elias Sports Bureau
And he did it before a buzzing crowd of 41,168 as Seattle remained one game back in the chase for the second wild-card spot.
"That was unreal. That was pretty good," Hernandez said. "We're fighting. We're going to continue to fight and do the little things."
For a change, Hernandez wasn't left wondering whether Seattle would score enough.
Cano ignited a seven-run sixth inning with his 10th homer of the season for a 3-1 lead.
That was just the beginning of Seattle's biggest inning since an eight-run outburst May 3 against Houston. Mike Zunino followed with an RBI triple, and an RBI double by Endy Chavez ended the night for Toronto starter Drew Hutchison (8-10).
Brad Miller lined an RBI triple, and Dustin Ackley brought home two runs with a single. Cano came up again, and after stepping out of the box while a lightning bolt and thunder crackled outside the stadium, he just missed a second homer in the inning by inches with an RBI double off the wall.
"Everything I saw was away ... so I was just trying to go the other way, but I wasn't trying to hit a homer," Cano said.
A day after going 19 innings to beat Detroit at home and not arriving to Seattle until 12:30 a.m. local time, Bautista's 23rd homer was the only highlight for Toronto. The only other Toronto batter to get a hit was Colby Rasmus, who had two and is now 7-for-10 against Hernandez.
King Felix struck out eight, walked none and lowered his ERA to 1.95 for the season. He is 9-2 with a 1.41 ERA during the 16-game streak.
"With Felix out there, you give those guys a lead, they put it away," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
Cano cut down a potential scoring opportunity for Toronto in the second. After Rasmus doubled, Dioner Navarro hit a grounder to second. Cano threw to third and got Rasmus trying to advance. Hernandez then got a double-play grounder from Danny Valencia to get out of the inning.
Cano later added an over-the-shoulder basket catch running down the right-field line.
Hernandez became the first pitcher since Dwight Gooden to reach 2,000 innings during or before his age-28 season. Hernandez, 28, reached the mark when he completed the second inning.
Mariners: Outfielder Michael Saunders (oblique) will have his rehab assignment delayed by a few days. He was set to leave Triple-A Tacoma to be with his wife for the birth of their child.
Blue Jays: J.A. Happ (8-6) has thrown at least seven innings in each of his past two starts but has just one victory since June 26. He has given up three earned runs combined in his past two starts, and the Blue Jays have lost both games.
Mariners: Chris Young (10-6) is 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA in his past 10 starts. Young has reached 11 victories only twice in his career.
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 11: Starter Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Toronto Blue...(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|4th||J Bautista homered to left center (418 feet).||1||0|
|4th||K Seager hit sacrifice fly to center, R Cano scored, K Morales to third.||1||1|
|4th||M Zunino singled to right, K Morales scored.||1||2|
|6th||R Cano homered to left (356 feet).||1||3|
|6th||M Zunino tripled to deep right, K Seager scored.||1||4|
|6th||E Chavez doubled to shallow left, M Zunino scored.||1||5|
|6th||B Miller tripled to deep center, E Chavez scored.||1||6|
|6th||D Ackley singled to center, B Miller and A Jackson scored, D Ackley to second advancing on throw.||1||8|
|6th||R Cano doubled to deep left center, D Ackley scored.||1||9|
|7th||J Jones grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, K Seager scored, L Morrison out at second, M Zunino to third.||1||10|
|7th||B Miller hit sacrifice fly to left, M Zunino scored.||1||11|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Safeco Field, Seattle, WA|
|Attendance||41,168 (86.5% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||81 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Quinn Wolcott, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Ben May, Third Base - CB Bucknor|
Most Consecutive Starts of 7 IP & 2 R or Fewer
Felix Hernandez has allowed a .115 batting average in at-bats to end in his changeup this season, which is the second-lowest rate in MLB among qualified pitchers to end at least 100 at-bats with the pitch. However, the Toronto Blue Jays have a team batting average of .264 in at-bats to end in a changeup this season, which ranks third in MLB.
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