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He allowed two hits and a run over eight innings, and in an unusual circumstance he also got to bat at Safeco Field.
"It's fun to hit," Hernandez said with a broad smile after getting the Mariners' first hit of the game, a single in the third inning, and the first hit ever by pitcher in the 12-year history of Safeco Field.
This was considered a home game for the Marlins, who relocated the three-game series to Seattle due to a conflict at Sun Life Stadium because of a U2 concert.
It was the first time since the inception of the designated hitter in 1973 that National League rules were used in an American League ballpark. Each starting pitcher batted for the first time in Safeco Field history. The Mariners, wearing their road grays, started the game at the plate.
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Hernandez (8-6) walked two and struck out 10. The only previous time a pitcher batted at Safeco was July 31, 2000. Boston, giving up the DH position, used pitcher Hipolito Pichardo as a batter in the ninth inning. He struck out.
"I think he'll talk more about the hit he got, if you let him," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
The Mariners, down 1-0 in the seventh, began a three-run winning rally on Brendan Ryan's four-pitch walk. Adam Kennedy followed with a single that just escaped the infield into shallow center field. Ryan alertly raced around second and reached third without a throw.
Justin Smoak then hit a two-hopper to first baseman Gaby Sanchez who threw home to catch Ryan in a rundown. Ryan dodged the tag long enough to allow the runners to move to second and third. Dustin Ackley was intentionally walked. Miguel Olivo followed with a shot to third baseman Greg Dobbs who knocked it down and got up to tag third but Kennedy scored to tie it at 1-all.
That ended the Mariners' 20-inning scoreless streak. They were coming off a three-game sweep by the Washington Nationals in which they scored one run in the previous two games.
"We try to stay out of a double play there. I get in a rundown. I guess it lasted a minute-and-a-half because that's how long it takes for Smoaky to get to second base," Ryan joked.
Wedge said that rundown "was the difference in the game. Granted, we had to come through after that. And we did."
Carlos Peguero loaded the bases again by beating out a single to deep short. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez's effort to keep the ball in the infield saved a run. It didn't matter when Franklin Gutierrez, hitting just .196, followed with a two-run single to center.
Olivo added a two-run home run, his 13th, in the ninth.
"You can't very well win too many game with two hits," Marlins interim manager Jack McKeon said. "Like we had more hit batsmen than we had hits."
Indeed, Hernandez, effectively struggling with his control early, tying the club record by hitting three batters, including consecutive plunks in the second.
"My changeup was up in the zone," Hernandez said. "After that [second] I try to make adjustments and I was good after the third inning."
Catcher Olivo said, "I never see his changeup move that much. Swing, swing. Amazing. Even me, I couldn't catch the ball."
A dropped third strike on a changeup was how the Marlins scored their run in the fourth.
Ramirez singled to open the inning, the first hit Hernandez allowed. He advanced to second on Dobbs' groundout and stole third as Mike Stanton struck out.
Hernandez then struck out John Buck on a change in the dirt. Olivo couldn't contain it and the ball rolled several feet away, ruled a wild pitch. Buck sprinted to first as Ramirez raced home. Olivo's throw to first was late and Ramirez scored.
Olivo said once he brought his pitches under control, "he was just a different guy. Everything worked, change, slider, curve sinker. Unbelievable."
Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who got one of the two hits, said Hernandez "is probably the best pitcher I've ever faced, stuff and command-wise. Everything is hard. When you talk about 94, 95 with the ball moving as much as his ball does, it's really good. His changeup is 89, 90, dropping out."
Hernandez heads a starting staff that has allowed just two earned runs in 29.0 innings over the last four games, a 0.62 ERA. Since June 15 -- eight games -- the starters have a 0.93 ERA.
Ricky Nolasco went seven innings, allowing three runs and four hits. He walked two and struck out four. The Marlins have lost all of his last six starts and nine of his last 10.
"I told myself I can't give up a run if I want to win," Nolasco said. "Obviously, that's not the way it went. I thought I made the pitches I needed to but couldn't catch a break when I needed to."
The Marlins set the club record for most losses in a month with 21.
|Felix Hernandez feels just at home Friday night because he is at home. He strikes out 10 while earning the win for Seattle. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Ichiro Suzuki , RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.272|
|Brendan Ryan , SS||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.247|
|Adam Kennedy , 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.276|
|Justin Smoak , 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.260|
|Dustin Ackley , 2B||2||2||0||0||2||1||0||.238|
|Miguel Olivo , C||4||2||1||3||0||0||2||.231|
|Carlos Peguero , LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.200|
|Franklin Gutierrez , CF||4||0||2||2||0||0||0||.208|
|Felix Hernandez , SP||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.143|
|a-Jack Cust , PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.217|
|a-Struck out looking for F Hernandez in the 9th.|
|HR - M Olivo (12)|
|RBI - M Olivo 3 (38); F Gutierrez 2 (8)|
|Felix Hernandez (W,8-6)||8.0||2||1||1||2||10||0||3.19|
|Emilio Bonifacio , CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.263|
|Logan Morrison , LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.267|
|Gaby Sanchez , 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.301|
|Hanley Ramirez , SS||4||1||1||0||0||2||1||.211|
|Greg Dobbs , 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.311|
|Mike Stanton , RF||4||0||0||0||0||4||3||.258|
|John Buck , C||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.214|
|Omar Infante , 2B||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.253|
|Ricky Nolasco , SP||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||.083|
|a-Jose Lopez , PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.194|
|a-Flied out for R Nolasco in the 7th.|
|SB - G Sanchez (1); H Ramirez (14)|
|Ricky Nolasco (L,4-4)||7.0||4||3||3||2||4||0||4.44|