Didn’t take long for Felix Hernandez to reach peak form. Throwing 70 pitches in six innings, the Mariners’ ace struck out nine and retired the final 13 batters in a row as Seattle beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 in a night game Friday at Peoria Stadium.
“Today was a day when everything was working,” Hernandez said, “Wasn’t just fastball and change-up. Curve ball, slider, everything. I had something going today.”
In six shutout innings, Hernandez gave up no walks and two hits.
“He was really effective with everything,” manager Eric Wedge said. “When he does that — throw any pitch, any tim, for a strike — he’s special.”
The Mariners improved to 18-8 and have the second-most wins, trailing only the Kansas City Royals (19-6-1).
Relief pitcher Danny Farquhar earned the win despite allowing a solo home run to first baseman Yonder Alonso in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game. Right-handed pitcher Kameron Loe had a scoreless eighh and Carter Capps picked up his first save after striking out the side in the ninth.
Catcher Kelly Shoppach gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead with a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning, his first. The home run was the 47th longball hit by the Mariners, tying for the second-most (2009) in franchise history.
In the top of the eighth, minor league shortstop Chris Taylor, the Mariners fifth-round draft pick out of the University of Virginia in June, broke a 1-1 tie with a two-out, two-run RBI single on a full count that put the Mariners on top 3-1.
The Mariners play the Cleveland Indians at Peoria Stadium at 1:05 p.m Saturday, televised on ROOT Sports and broadcast on 710 ESPN Seattle and the Mariners Radio Network. Right-hander Blake Beavan will make his fourth start against Indians left-hander Scott Kazmir.