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Los Angeles at Seattle

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Los Angeles (29-23)000000001140
Seattle (26-26) «02000001x350

Felix's near-shutout, Zunino's three RBI send M's past Angels

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Even in the middle of his best outing this season and coming within one out of his first complete game since August 2012, Felix Hernandez took notice of the stadium radar gun flashing numbers in the mid-90s when his fastball cracked the glove.

"I've still got it," Seattle's ace said with a sly grin.

Riding that fastball carrying a little more zip, Hernandez took a shutout bid into the ninth inning as the Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 on Wednesday night.

On the verge of a brilliant shutout and first complete game since Aug. 27, 2012 against Minnesota, Hernandez couldn't get the 27th out. He gave up a two-out single to Mike Trout and an RBI double to Albert Pujols that took away the shutout and the complete game and caused Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon to turn to his closer.

Still, the effort by Hernandez (7-1) continued a dominant run. He won his fourth consecutive start and became the seventh pitcher in Mariners history with seven victories before June 1.

In those last four starts, Hernandez has allowed eight earned runs in 31 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts. He now has a 57-7 record in his career when pitching at least eight innings.

"I think we're all getting accustomed to how he's been throwing. He's just coming out and establishing the fastball early and going to his off-speed pitches when he needs to," Seattle catcher Mike Zunino said.

Providing the offense behind Hernandez's gem was Zunino, who homered and drove in all of Seattle's runs. He gave the Mariners the lead with a two-out, two-run single in the second and led off the eighth with a home run off C.J. Wilson (6-4).

Wilson was nearly the equal of Hernandez. Also trying to get his seventh win, Wilson allowed just five hits and struck out five before getting lifted with two outs in the eighth.

Five of Zunino's seven home runs this season have come in Hernandez starts. But he was more pleased with the single in the second inning that scored Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager.

"When you can do that with two outs and put the team on the board early and see some pitches, that was the biggest thing for me and gave you confidence as the game went on," Zunino said.

Hernandez cruised through the eighth, still hitting the mid-90s mph on the stadium radar gun and closed the inning striking out Hank Conger. There was very little discussion with McClendon and Hernandez jogged from the dugout to start the ninth to a big ovation having allowed just two hits.

He struck out Collin Cowgill swinging and retired Howie Kendrick on a fly ball. But Trout and Pujols wouldn't let Hernandez finish it off. He struck out nine and walked two.

Closer Fernando Rodney entered and got David Freese to line out for his 13th save of the season.

"He was strong. He felt great. It's just tough there, you have to weigh the players but also what is good for the team," McClendon said. "I had my closer up and he was ready to go so we thought it was the best matchup."

Hernandez struck out five of the first nine batters by changing up his game plan. He relied more on his fastball early and went to off speed pitches later in the game. Kendrick ended any thoughts of another special night from Hernandez with a solid single leading off the fourth. Trout then walked, but Hernandez skirted the jam thanks to Zunino throwing out Kendrick trying to steal third and Freese's strikeout.

The only other hit before the ninth was Erick Aybar's single in the fifth.

"We really didn't get a chance to pressure him much and the couple of times we did we couldn't get the runs across," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Notes

Matt Shoemaker will start Thursday's series finale for the Angels. He was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake after LHP Sean Burnett tore a ligament in his pitching elbow in Tuesday's game. LHP Wade LeBlanc, the original starter, will now work out of the bullpen. ... Seattle RHP Taijuan Walker (shoulder) made his first rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday night and threw three innings, giving up five hits, four earned runs and striking out three. He threw 61 pitches.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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In control until the ninth, Felix Hernandez comes within one out of his 10th career shutout.  (USATSI)
In control until the ninth, Felix Hernandez comes within one out of his 10th career shutout. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Seattle

M. Zunino
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Seattle

F. Hernandez
IP 8.2
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 9
 
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Howie Kendrick, 2B4010001 .294
Mike Trout, CF3110110 .281
Albert Pujols, 1B4011012 .262
David Freese, 3B4000022 .214
Raul Ibanez, DH3000010 .151
Erick Aybar, SS3010000 .265
Kole Calhoun, RF3000011 .203
Hank Conger, C3000011 .278
Collin Cowgill, LF2000120 .276
C.J. Wilson, P0000000 .000
   Kevin Jepsen, P0000000 .000
Totals2914129  
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (14, Hernandez)
RBI - Albert Pujols (32)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (9)
SB - Erick Aybar (3, 2nd base off Hernandez/Zunino)
CS - Howie Kendrick (3, 3rd base by Hernandez/Zunino)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Pujols-Aybar, Pujols-Aybar-Pujols-Aybar
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
C.J. Wilson (L,6-4) 7.2533251 3.05
Kevin Jepsen 0.1000010 4.41
WP - C.J. Wilson (6)
HBP - Romero (by C.J. Wilson)
Pitches-Strikes - C.J. Wilson 115-68, Kevin Jepsen 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.J. Wilson 9-7
Batters Faced - C.J. Wilson 29, Kevin Jepsen 1
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
James Jones, CF4010010 .266
Stefen Romero, RF3010001 .198
   Michael Saunders, PR-RF0000000 .273
Robinson Cano, 2B4000013 .327
Justin Smoak, 1B3110020 .230
Kyle Seager, 3B2100100 .247
John Buck, DH2000100 .211
Dustin Ackley, LF3000003 .250
Mike Zunino, C3123000 .239
Nick Franklin, SS3000021 .167
Felix Hernandez, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Rodney, P0000000 .000
Totals2735326  
Batting
HR - Mike Zunino (7, Wilson)
RBI - Mike Zunino 3 (21)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Zunino 2 (7)
CS - James Jones (1, 2nd base by Wilson/Conger)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Franklin-Cano-Smoak
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Felix Hernandez (W,7-1) 8.2411290 2.57
Fernando Rodney (S,13) 0.1000000 2.75
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 116-70, Fernando Rodney 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 7-8
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 30, Fernando Rodney 1
Game Information
Attendance - 13895
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Hal Gibson