"That was our goal. For me personally, that was it exactly," said Yuniesky Betancourt, who broke a 10th-inning tie with a two-out RBI single and led the Royals to a 6-4 victory over the Mariners on Monday night.
"He was pretty nasty, and everyone knows the caliber of pitcher he is," Betancourt said. "Our goal was to get into the bullpen and give ourselves a better chance."
Hernandez, coming off three straight nine-inning outings, threw 112 pitches and was removed after seven innings. Seattle was ahead 4-2 when he left the game.
But the Royals scored two in the eighth off Brandon League to tie it.
Mitch Maier then tripled off Chad Cordero (0-1) with two outs in the 10th, just the fifth extra-base hit for the Royals this month. Betancourt, traded to the Royals by Seattle last season, followed with his winning hit through the left side.
"I had Betancourt 0-2, and I just left that ball over the plate too much," said Cordero, who took his first loss since Aug. 24, 2007, when he pitched for Washington. "He was able to find a hole."
Cordero's wild pitch allowed Betancourt to advance to second, and he scored on Scott Podsednik's bloop single to shallow left.
"Yuni gets down 0-2 and ends up driving one through," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "That's kind of how our offense has been. They just keep coming at you. It doesn't matter what the situation is, whether they're down two outs, they feel like they can find a way to get it done."
Kyle Farnsworth (2-0) worked one inning for the win. Joakim Soria earned his AL-leading 23rd save.
Russell Branyan hit a two-run home run for the Mariners in the fifth.
Alberto Callaspo had two hits and two RBI for the Royals, and David DeJesus had two hits and scored three runs.
Hernandez allowed two runs and five hits. He walked two and struck out six.
"I threw a lot of pitches early in the game," Hernandez said. "They had pretty good at-bats against me, fouled off a lot of pitches."
DeJesus, who managed one of the hits off Hernandez, said, "everyone, up and down the lineup, had some great at-bats against Felix. We had him 90 to 100 pitches in the sixth and seventh. That's what you want to do, get him out of the game.
"There was not the, 'Let's go out there and swing at the first pitch' or, 'Let's just take, take, take.' We wanted to be smart-aggressive."
League took over for Hernandez in the eighth and the Royals rallied. Jason Kendall opened with a single to right and moved to third on DeJesus's single to center. Billy Butler's sacrifice fly made it 4-3.
Jose Guillen sent DeJesus to third with a single to center. He scored on Callaspo's single to center.
"This is a good hitting club," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said of the Royals. "They kind of wear you out through attrition. They got Felix to an over 20-pitch inning in the sixth so he was out of the game [by the seventh]."
Michael Saunders opened the Mariners' three-run fifth with a double down the right-field line. He advanced to third on Ichiro Suzuki's groundout and scored on Chone Figgins' slicing single to short left that made it 2-1.
Branyan followed with his shot to right field on a 1-1 pitch from starter Brian Bannister. It was Branyan's 13th homer overall and third in seven games since Seattle reacquired him from Cleveland on June 26.
Suzuki got his AL-leading 26th infield hit in the first inning. With two outs, he moved to second when Bannister threw wildly on a pickoff attempt. Jose Lopez followed with a double off the left-field wall.
Suzuki has a .376 career average against the Royals, his highest against any team and the second-highest ever for a Royals opponent.
Kansas City tied it in the fourth on Callaspo's sacrifice fly.
Seattle LHP Erik Bedard, who had rotator cuff surgery on Aug. 14, was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday because of shoulder soreness after his previous bullpen session. Bedard had just completed his rehab assignment and was expected to be taken off the DL. Ryan Rowland-Smith will make Tuesday's start. ... Mariners LF Milton Bradley missed his second straight game because of leg soreness. ... Butler's double in the sixth gave him 100 hits. He and DeJesus are among 33 Royals players to ever reach 100 hits before the All-Star break.