"He listened to me," McClendon would quip with a twinkle in his
On Friday night, McClendon was halfway across the country to attend
a daughter's wedding and Hernandez apparently was missing his words
The American League Cy Young candidate suffered through his worst
start of the season as the slumping Washington Nationals snapped out
of their three-game funk on the way to six home runs and an 8-3
victory over Hernandez and the Mariners.
"I don't think it had anything to do with me," fill-in manager Trent
Jewett said. "Felix is human. And the other team's getting paid too.
So it's going to happen."
The Nationals, more than an absent manager, proved to be Hernandez's
downfall. Washington tagged Hernandez for four home runs, the most
he has allowed in a game, and six total.
"You can't figure those things out," said designated hitter Jayson
Werth, who hit the only two-run shot in a game that saw the
Nationals hit five solo homers, including two by catcher Wilson
Ramos. "Sometimes things like that happen. He's a great pitcher;
everybody knows that. But we were good today."
Washington (76-57) had 14 hits, 10 of them against Hernandez, on the
way to the franchise's 10th consecutive head-to-head win against
Third baseman Anthony Rendon, shortstop Ian Desmond and Ramos all
had solo homers off Hernandez, and Werth added a two-run shot as the
Nationals built a 5-2 lead in the fourth inning.
Left fielder Bryce Harper and Ramos hit back-to-back solo homers off
reliever Joe Beimel in the eighth inning when the Washington lead
swelled to 7-2.
"It was pretty amazing," said Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann,
who allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings to improve to
10-5. "These guys, 1 through 8, they have power and can take it deep
at any moment. It's fun to watch, for sure."
Rendon went 4-for-4 with a double, a home run and an RBI. In his
first-ever meeting with Hernandez, Rendon reached base in all four
plate appearances; he added a single off Seattle closer Fernando
Rodney in the top of the ninth inning.
Hernandez (13-5) allowed a season-high five earned runs in seven
innings. He hadn't allowed more than one home run in a game all
season and had given up just nine in 27 starts this year. In his
first four August starts, Hernandez had allowed seven runs and three
"It was a tough day," Hernandez said after his Friday night
performance. "I couldn't get out of the middle of the plate over the
first four innings, (the ball) was up, and I got crushed."
Hernandez was pitching on six days' rest after McClendon moved back
his latest start two days. The rest didn't work in the veteran
pitcher's favor, as he had his worst outing of the season on a night
when the Mariners (72-61) needed a win to keep pace in the AL
Seattle fell a game being Detroit in the race for the AL's second
[to top of second column]
McClendon juggled Seattle's rotation earlier this week to give Hernandez
some extra time off. The Mariners recalled Erasmo Ramirez to fill in
Wednesday, pushing Hernandez's start to Friday. In those two games,
Seattle was outscored 20-7 while seeing starting pitchers Ramirez and
Hernandez get bounced around for 19 hits and five earned runs in 12
Hernandez had a 2.07 ERA heading into the game, .04 behind AL leader Chris
Sale, and came out of Friday's performance with a 2.23 ERA.
The Nationals still have the best record in the National League, by a
half-game over the Los Angeles Dodgers, and they maintained a six-game
lead atop the NL East standings with the win.
"It was big," Zimmermann said. "We had a few bad games (during a
three-game sweep in Philadelphia). Hopefully, we get the momentum back
on our side."
Rendon started the long-ball carnage with a solo home run on the first
pitch he saw for a 1-0 lead one out into the first inning. Werth added a
two-run shot in the third, then Desmond and Ramos each had a solo homer
in the fourth.
Seattle took a temporary lead in the bottom of the first inning when
back-to-back RBI singles by designated hitter Kendrys Morales and third
baseman Kyle Seager put the Mariners in front 2-1.
NOTES: Mariners prospect Jesus Montero was involved in an incident with
a team scout Thursday night in Boise. Montero and scout Butch Baccala
apparently had a heated exchange during a Class A game between the
Everett AquaSox and the Boise Hawks. Montero, who was on a rehab
assignment with Everett, was involved in what the Mariners called "a
verbal altercation" with the scout. The Mariners released a statement
for what they called an "unfortunate incident" and added that Baccala
has been sent home "until further notice." Montero, once a top prospect
in the organization, has been pulled off his rehab assignment and will
not play again this season, general manager Jack Zduriencik said before
Friday's game. ... Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon was not at Friday's
game, He was in Indiana to attend his daughter's wedding. Bench coach
Trent Jewett handled managing duties Friday. ...Seattle shuffled its
pitching rotation, moving LHP Roenis Elias up to Saturday and RHP Chris
Young back two days to Monday. No reason for the change was given. ...
The Nationals entered Friday's game on a three-game losing streak, one
shy of its season-long losing streak. ... Washington extended its
affiliation with the Auburn Doubledays of the Class A New York-Penn
League on Friday. The extension will keep the sides together for two
more years. ... Seattle recalled OF James Jones before Friday's game.
RHP Erasmo Ramirez had been demoted to Triple-A after his Wednesday
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