Felix Hernandez’s run of ill luck against Texas continued Saturday when the Rangers battered him for five runs on five hits in the second inning, then hammered relievers Oliver Perez and Charlie Furbush for eight more in the eighth en route to a 15-3 discombobulation of the Mariners in Arlington.
For Hernandez, whose Cy Young candidacy took a serious hit, it was the most runs he had allowed in an inning since five June 20 to the Angels in Anaheim. The 15 runs ceded by the Mariners fell one shy of the season-high 16 they allowed to the Houston Astros April 9. The 12-run loss matched the worst of the season. The Mariners fell 12-0 to the Angels May 21.
Hernandez (12-6, 2.47) breezed through a 1-2-3 first after the Mariners staked him to a 1-0 lead, and were up 2-0 in the second when the Rangers unloaded. Former Mariner Adrian Beltre started it off with a single and before Hernandez could record two outs the Rangers had blasted him for five runs. The Seattle ace threw 36 pitches in the inning after throwing eight in the first.
Hernandez settled down after that. The Mariners got a run back in the third on Kyle Seager’s 19th home run over the right-field wall, but the damage had been done. The Mariners couldn’t cut into the Texas lead and fell to 56-66, including 2-3 on the nine-game home stand.
As it turned out, the Rangers were not even half through beating up on the Mariners after Hernandez left. Texas brutalized Perez (six earned runs) and Furbush (two) in the eighth to complete the drubbing.
Texas’ eight runs lasted 45 minutes and were the most against Seattle in a single frame this season. The Mariners surrendered seven runs in the sixth inning June 17 to the Angels.
Hernandez’s loss was his third of the season to the Rangers and the 19th of his career against 12 victories. No team has defeated Hernandez than Texas.
The Mariners managed eight hits off Texas starter Martin Perez, but couldn’t do anything against him after the third inning. Perez allowed three earned runs and struck out five.
Seager extended his hitting streak at Rangers Ballpark to 13 games in the first with a single to right field that scored Brad Miller, who led off with a double. Making a rare start, Brendan Ryan drove in Dustin Ackley, who had singled and stole second, giving the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
After Hernandez departed, the Rangers immediately loaded the bases on Lucas Luetge with no outs. Carter Capps replaced Luetge and worked his way out of the jam.
In the seventh, after Capps allowed a single and a walk, Perez came on and gave up a two-run double to Craig Gentry to jack the Texas lead to 7-3.
The Rangers loaded the bases against Perez with no outs in the eighth. They cashed in with three runs on Beltre’s run-scoring single, a bases-loaded walk and Martin’s single. Perez, who had issued a four-pitch walk and hit a batter in his previous appearance against Tampa, left in favor of Furbush, who couldn’t stop the carnage.
The series ends Sunday with RHP Erasmo Ramirez (4-0, 7.06) facing RHP Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.64), who has twice flirted with no-hitters this season. Ramirez will be seeking his fifth consecutive victory since joining Seattle’s rotation.
The Mariners move on to Oakland to begin a three-game series at O.Com Stadium Monday night. RHP Aaron Harang (5-10, 5.77) will oppose RHP Jarrod Parker (8-6, 3.87).
NOTES: Mariners rookie Nick Franklin got the night off Saturday to mull his slump. Franklin, who batted .296 with four home runs in the first five weeks of his career after getting called up in May, has hit .194 in 34 games since July 1. During that time, Franklin struck out 52 times . . . The Mariners Saturday activated catcher Jesus Sucre from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to AAA Tacoma. Sucre has been on the DL since June 6 with a left wrist injury. He’s hit .316 (6-for-19) in six rehab games with the Arizona Rookie League Mariners.