When aces go wild: Hernandez hits with pitches Ichiro, Derek Jeter and Rodriguez, but bullpen saves him to preserve Seattle’s 4-2 win.
As the Mariners won their sixth game in the last nine attempts Tuesday night, the New York Yankees lost something bigger — Alex Rodriguez.
A change-up from Mariners ace Felix Hernandez broke a bone in the left hand of the Yankees slugger, who will be out six to eight weeks. The 8th-inning pitch struck Rodriguez as he leaned back to avoid ball four that was up and in.
In the 7th inning, Hernandez hit former teammate Ichiro on the foot, and in the eighth plunked Derek Jeter in the shoulder.
Hernandez was at a loss to explain the wildness, which included three walks but just four hits in the 4-2 triumph that was the Yankees’ fifth defeat in six games.
“I think it’s the first time I hit three batters in a game,” said Hernandez, shaking his head. Then he quickly added, “Not on purpose, not on purpose, It was my command, and it was off.
“I feel bad. That’s not me.”
Feeling worse was Rodriguez, who was on his back in the batter’s box moaning for a couple of minutes before being helped to the clubhouse.
New York manager Joe Girardi said the pitch was a change-up, and the fracture was non-displaced on the fifth metacarpal.
“He had been swinging the bat really good too,” Girardi said. “We’ve had to overcome somethings so far, so we’re just going to have to continue to do it.
“In that situation, I don’t think (Felix) is trying to hit anyone on purpose. It happens, and it’s part of the game. It’s unfortunate.”
Mariners manager Eric Wedge pulled Hernandez immediately, after his 117th pitch. Lucas Luetge came on to allow a single to Robinson Cano. A sacrifice fly by Mark Teixeira brought in the Yankees’ second run — the first was a home run by Curtis Granderson in the first inning — but Luetge struck out Raul Ibanez to end the inning. Tom Wilhelmsen to get his 11th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Hearing news of Alex: (shakes head) “I feel bad. That’s not me.”
After a four-game sweep in Oakland, the Yankees tried to get well Monday when they beat the Mariners 4-1 and traded for the club’s iconic player in a surprise trade.
The Mariners retorted Granderson’s shot with a first-inning homer by Michael Saunders, then scored a pair of runs in the third on three singles and a sacrifice fly against Freddy Garcia, the erstwhile Mariners staff ace from 1999-2004.
In the eighth, the Mariners added insurance with three walks, then a handle-shot roller from Kyle Seager that crawled up the third base line for an RBI single.
Ichiro had a double in three at bats in his second game as a Yankee. He had a pair of putouts in right in which Mariners runners went from first to third, each beating thje rightfielder’s throws.
The Mariners for their third consecutive series with with a 12:40 p.m. series close. Fans attending the game are advised to beware of traffic problems caused by President Obama’s morning departure from Boeing Field.