Despite allowing just four hits over 8 1/3 innings, Hernandez
suffered his first loss since April 21 when Texas shortstop Elvis
Andrus scored from third base in the ninth inning.
It marked the 58th time that Hernandez has thrown eight or more
innings while allowing one run or fewer -- and the 14th time in such
games that he has failed to earn a victory.
"It's tough, real tough," said Hernandez, who now has two losses to
go with his 12 no-decisions when allowing one run or fewer in
eight-plus innings. "I've just got to go out and do my job. That's
all I can do."
Hernandez's biggest mistake came after Andrus hit a one-out single
in the ninth and moved to second on a stolen base. With Shin-Soo
Choo in the batter's box, Hernandez failed to keep Andrus on second
and allowed him to easily take third base on another steal --
setting up the winning run.
"I was just locked in on the hitter," Hernandez said, "and he got
Hernandez (8-2) and the Mariners nearly got away with it when
reliever Fernando Rodney came on with one out and runners on first
and third base and got Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre to ground
into a potential inning-ending double play. But the relay throw from
second baseman Robinson Cano was way off target, allowing Beltre to
reach on a fielder's choice as the go-ahead run scored from third.
Rangers closer Joakim Soria retired the side in the ninth, getting
Cano to hit a dribbler back to the mound for the final out while
earning his 14th save of the season.
Seattle (34-33) has now lost four games in a row.
"We're going through a little funk right now," Mariners manager
Lloyd McClendon said after his team was held to just two hits by
four Texas pitchers. "This team has got to fight and stay together,
and we'll get through this."
The Rangers' Shawn Tolleson (2-1) earned the win with a scoreless
eighth inning after Texas starter Nick Tepesch matched Hernandez for
six innings. Tepesch gave up a pair of seventh-inning walks to end
his night. He threw 6 1/3 innings of two-hit shutout ball but did
not factor into the decision.
"He did a tremendous job," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He
gave us a chance, and that's all we wanted."
Texas reliever Jason Frasor took over for Tepesch in the seventh and
struck out two consecutive batters to get out of that jam before
Tolleson took over in the eighth.
The Rangers (33-34) have allowed just one run over their past two
Hernandez had a shutout going into the ninth inning but was pulled
after allowing a single and a walk with one out. He allowed just
four hits, marking the sixth time this season that Hernandez has
held a team to that number. It came against a Texas team that has
generally had his number over the years.
Afterward, Hernandez acknowledged that he pitched better than usual
against the Rangers, "but we still lost the game."
[to top of second column]
Hernandez had won five decisions in a row before getting a
no-decision his last time out. He now has a career record of 12-21
against the Rangers.
The Rangers' Andrus admitted that beating
Hernandez was more satisfying than most wins.
"Those are the best ones," he said. "When you face the best one and
you beat the best one, after the game it's a nice feeling."
Hernandez got off to a great start. Texas didn't move a baserunner
past first base through the first five innings.
Tepesch was just as dominant. The only hit he allowed through five
innings came on Mike Zunino's leadoff single in the third inning.
Texas caught Seattle shortstop Brad Miller trying to steal two
batters later, meaning Tepesch faced the minimum 15 batters through
Seattle's only real threat came in the seventh inning, when Tepesch
gave up a pair of walks and a passed ball eventually put runners on
second and third base. Both were stranded when Frasor struck out
pinch hitter Endy Chavez and left fielder Dustin Ackley to get out
of the inning.
"Tepesch was able to match (Hernandez's) zeroes until we pushed
something across the board," Washington said. "That's what it takes:
Matching his zeroes."
NOTES: Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland (ankle) got a second opinion from a
doctor in North Carolina this week, but his timetable for returning
is still up in the air. MLB.com reported that Moreland is suffering
from Os Trigonum Syndrome, a condition in which a bone causes
irritation in the ankle. Moreland can elect to have surgery to
remove the bone, sidelining him for three to four weeks, or he could
have season-ending reconstructive surgery. ... Texas RHP Yu Darvish
is listed as the Rangers' probable starter for Tuesday, despite the
Thursday off day. Darvish, who pitched Wednesday, will now get an
extra day of rest as he maintains his usual spot in the rotation.
... Mariners DH Corey Hart (hamstring) took batting practice before
Friday's game and could begin running Saturday. Manager Lloyd
McClendon said Friday that Hart could be close to a rehab stint. ...
Seattle 3B Kyle Seager batted in the No. 2 spot for the first time
this season but went 0-for-3, including a groundout in the ninth
inning of the 1-0 loss.
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