Seattle at Texas

W: F. Hernandez (12-4) L: T. Hunter (3-2)
HR: SEA - K. Griffey (11), J. Lopez (15)   TEX - N. Cruz (25)

Mariners 7, Rangers 2 wire reports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ken Griffey Jr. was drafted by the Seattle Mariners less than a year after Texas starter Tommy Hunter was born.

On Saturday night, Griffey added the rookie to the long list of pitchers he's homered against.

Griffey hit his 622nd career home run and Felix Hernandez pitched seven solid innings to lead the Mariners to a 7-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

Griffey's three-run shot in the first came off Hunter, the 400th different pitcher he has homered off in his career.

"This is as good as I've seen him in awhile," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said of Griffey. "He was standing in that box with a lot of confidence."

Griffey went 3 for 5 for his third three-hit game of the season.

Hunter was born 11 months before Griffey was the top overall pick in the 1987 amateur draft.

"I was fortunate enough to get some hits," Griffey said. "You've got to keep working at it. Everybody thinks that I just showed up."

Hernandez (12-4) bounced back from his worst effort of the season to win for the fourth time in five starts. The right-hander gave up two runs and six hits as Seattle won for the third time in nine games.

Hernandez said he was fortunate to come out on top against a Rangers team that he has a 6-9 lifetime record against.

"I was disappointed in my performance," said Hernandez, who walked four and struck out two. "We still won, but I was terrible, I was all over the place."

The Mariners will have to lean on Hernandez after they traded Jarrod Washburn on Friday and placed Erik Bedard on the disabled list earlier in the week.

"That shows what kind of champion this guy can be," Wakamatsu said. "You're going through these stretches where you find other ways to win even when you don't have your electric fastball."

Texas is four games behind the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West and trails Boston by 2½ games in the Wild Card chase.

"They swung the bats the well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They just beat us tonight."

Ichiro Suzuki reached on an error leading off the game and Jose Lopez walked to set the stage for Griffey.

He lined a 3-2 pitch from Hunter into the grassy area beyond the center field fence. It was Griffey's 11th homer and his first since July 1.

"He took a couple of good pitches," said Hunter. "I left one out over the plate and he hit it over the fence."

Griffey doubled leading off the third and scored on Jack Hannahan's RBI single. The Mariners extended their lead to 5-0 on Ryan Langerhans' triple to right.

Hunter (3-2) came into the game having gone 3-0 with a 1.11 in his last four outings. The rookie allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings to lose for the first time since June 28.

"Tommy just didn't have his location tonight," Washington said.

Cruz had three hits and smacked a 458-foot solo home run to left in the fourth inning, the fourth-longest ever hit at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He also added an RBI single in the sixth.

Lopez had three hits and two RBI, including a solo homer in the eighth that made it 7-2.

Hernandez, who allowed a season-high seven runs in 5 2/3 innings Monday against Toronto, received some defensive help in protecting the lead.

In the bottom of the first, Suzuki threw out Omar Vizquel trying to score on Marlon Byrd's fly ball. Catcher Rob Johnson stretched high to grab Suzuki's throw from right and quickly dropped to the ground to tag Vizquel.

Langerhans jumped at the left field wall to take an extra-base hit from David Murphy in the third.


Washington said after the game that right-hander Dustin Nippert will start Monday in Oakland. Washington said before the game there was a chance that Kevin Millwood, who hasn't pitched since leaving July 26 with a strained gluteus muscle, would make that start. ... The Mariners activated newly acquired Luke French on Saturday and will start the left-hander on Wednesday night at Kansas City. To make room for French, the team designated infielder Chris Shelton for assignment.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

K. Griffey
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

N. Cruz
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

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Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF6220014 .363
Russell Branyan, 1B5000028 .260
Jose Lopez, 2B5232112 .275
Ken Griffey Jr., DH5233003 .223
Franklin Gutierrez, CF5000015 .291
Jack Hannahan, 3B3021200 .215
Jack Wilson, SS5120005 .270
Ryan Langerhans, LF5021025 .242
Rob Johnson, C4020112 .216
2B - Jose Lopez (25, Madrigal), Ken Griffey Jr. (15, Hunter), Jack Wilson 2 (20, Hunter, Madrigal)
3B - Ryan Langerhans (1, Hunter)
HR - Jose Lopez (15, J. Jennings), Ken Griffey Jr. (11, Hunter)
RBI - Jose Lopez 2 (59), Ken Griffey Jr. 3 (33), Jack Hannahan (13), Ryan Langerhans (5)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Langerhans (3)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki (22, 2nd base off Hunter/Saltalamacchia)
CS - Jack Hannahan (1, 2nd base by Hunter/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 14
Outfield Assists - Ichiro Suzuki 1
DP - Suzuki-Johnson, Branyan, Johnson-Hannahan
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez (W,12-4) 7622421 2.78
Mark Lowe 2000030 3.22
HBP - Andrus (by Felix Hernandez)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 104-58, Mark Lowe 32-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 5-11
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 29, Mark Lowe 6
Texas Rangers
Omar Vizquel, 2B3000113 .290
Michael Young, 3B4010001 .325
David Murphy, LF4000010 .272
Marlon Byrd, CF4110002 .277
Hank Blalock, 1B4000011 .251
Nelson Cruz, DH4132010 .272
Josh Hamilton, RF4000002 .222
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C3010110 .242
Elvis Andrus, SS0000200 .261
2B - Marlon Byrd (32, Hernandez), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (12, Hernandez)
HR - Nelson Cruz (25, Hernandez)
RBI - Nelson Cruz 2 (58)
2-OUT RBI - Nelson Cruz (25)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Young-Vizquel-Blalock
E - Hank Blalock (4, Misplayed grounder), Tommy Hunter (1, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Tommy Hunter (L,3-2) 5754351 2.63
Warner Madrigal 1.1411100 9.31
Jason Grilli 0.2000010 3.89
Jason Jennings 1311011 3.64
Dustin Nippert 1200010 3.38
HBP - Branyan (by Tommy Hunter)
WP - Tommy Hunter (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hunter 99-63, Warner Madrigal 37-23, Jason Grilli 6-5, Jason Jennings 26-18, Dustin Nippert 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hunter 3-8, Warner Madrigal 2-2, Dustin Nippert 1-0
Batters Faced - Tommy Hunter 27, Warner Madrigal 9, Jason Grilli 2, Jason Jennings 6, Dustin Nippert 4
Game Information
Attendance - 29458
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - D.J. Reyburn, Second Base - Mike Muchlinski, Third Base - Bill Miller