That was just fine with Hernandez.
"That was good enough for me," he said of being pulled from the game
after eight innings and 107 pitches. "That's why we've got Rodney."
Hernandez continued his string of dominant starts with eight innings
of one-hit ball, and second baseman Robinson Cano ended two days of
offensive futility with a sixth-inning home run as the Mariners
(44-38) finished off a winning homestand for only the second time
this season. Seattle went 4-2 against Cleveland and Boston.
"You want to win series at home," Cano said. "Now we want to keep
the momentum going to Houston (for a three-game series that starts
Cano went 2-for-4, including a two-run home run in the sixth that
broke a scoreless tie. Cano shook off an inside pitch from Cleveland
starter T.J. House, then turned on a 2-0 pitch for his fifth home
run of the season into the seats near the right field foul pole.
"I was looking for a pitch I could at least hit out of the infield,"
said Cano, whose home run came with a runner on third base to give
Seattle a 2-0 lead in the sixth. "With no outs, that's what you
want, especially with a runner in scoring position."
Hernandez threw eight shutout innings of one-hit ball before turning
the game over to Rodney, who converted his 23rd save of the season
with a perfect ninth. Hernandez (10-2) struck out nine and walked
three while throwing 107 pitches.
Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said there was "no discussion at
all" about sending Hernandez back out for the ninth. When asked
whether the pitch count had anything to do with the decision,
McClendon said it was "based on what the manager felt."
Hernandez didn't seem to have a problem with being taken out of the
game that close to a complete-game shutout -- something he hasn't
done since Aug. 2012.
"If (McClendon) says, 'That's it,'" Hernandez said, "that's it."
It marked the ninth consecutive start in which Hernandez has pitched
at least seven innings while allowing two runs or fewer. During that
span, Hernandez is 6-1 with a 1.30 ERA.
"Felix is great," McClendon said. "I don't have the adjectives to
explain it anymore. Unbelievable."
Cleveland (39-42) notched its only hit of the game on a Lonnie
Chisenhall single up the middle to lead off the fifth. The Cleveland
third baseman was promptly thrown out at second on the front end of
a double play.
The Indians didn't have a runner in scoring position until the
seventh, when left fielder Michael Brantley led off with a walk and
moved to second base on a groundout. Brantley ended up stranded on
"The tough thing is that Felix was so good," Cleveland manager Terry
Francona said. "He had everything working. It's hard to get a beat
[to top of second column]
Cano's two-run homer, his fifth of the season, snapped the Mariners'
15-inning scoreless streak. Cano also scored on a single from
catcher Mike Zunino in the eighth.
Cleveland starter T.J. House, who was promoted from Triple-A
Columbus on Sunday morning, allowed just two runs on seven hits in
"I thought T.J. was really good," Francona said. "We are not here
bragging about his outing because of the way Felix threw."
House (0-2) was matching Hernandez inning for inning before Seattle
finally got on the board in the sixth.
Center fielder Michael Saunders led off the sixth with a bunt single
and ended up at third base when House's throw got past first base
for the Indians' second error of the game. Cano then hit a 2-0 pitch
into the stands in right field to give Seattle its first score since
the eighth inning of Friday night's 3-2 win over the Indians. On
Saturday night, the Mariners were limited to one hit by a career
performance from Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin.
Seattle (44-38) collected 10 hits Sunday while finishing its
homestand with a 4-2 record. It marked only the second time this
season that the Mariners have had a winning record on a homestand.
Cano went 2-for-4. Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager also went
2-for-4, his fifth multiple hit game of the homestand.
NOTES: After the game, Seattle optioned OF Stefen Romero to Triple-A
Tacoma. The move was made to clear a roster spot for Monday starter
Taijuan Walker. ... The Indians promoted LHP T.J. House from
Triple-A Columbus before Sunday's game. House started the game for
Cleveland, while LHP Nick Hagadone was optioned to Columbus to clear
a spot on the 25-man roster. ... With his sixth strikeout of
Sunday's game, Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez passed Bob Feller for
seventh on the list of most career strikeouts by a pitcher prior to
his 29th birthday. Hernandez, who turns 29 next April, now has 1,840
career strikeouts. ... Seattle had a 43-38 record at the halfway
point of the season, marking the franchise's best half-season record
since the 2006 team went 46-35 through 81 games.
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