Staked to a 7-3 lead entering the bottom of the ninth, an ineffective Fernando Rodney squandered it, costing Felix Hernandez a win. But Nelson Cruz saved the day with a solo homer in the 10th, giving the Mariners (3-3) an 8-7 victory Sunday over the A’s (3-4) in Oakland for their first series win of the season.
No-hit through five by Jesse Hahn and with Hernandez out after straining a quad muscle, the Mariners erupted for four runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh. But Rodney had nothing and the A’s tied it. Cruz, who had a three-run homer Saturday, salvaged matters with his shot off Tyler Clippard. All of Seattle’s wins this season have been comebacks (box score).
After a sacrifice fly by Brad Miller cut the Mariners’ deficit to 3-1 in the sixth, Robinson Cano sent a liner to on-rushing RF Josh Reddick, who mishandled it and allowed two runs. Kyle Seager followed with an RBI single that put Hernandez in position to win.
Hernandez (two walks, one strikeout) was off. He allowed three earned runs, aided by an Austin Jackson error in center, on eight hits in five innings, and had to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the second. Danny Farquhar (2.0 scoreless innings) and Charlie Furbush (1.0) set up Hernandez for the win, only to have Rodney blow it. With the no-decision, Hernandez remains unbeaten at O.Co Coliseum over the past six years.
Although Rodney allowed four earned runs in 25 pitches, he earned the win, one of the least-deserving victories in franchise history. Yoervis Medina, who pitched a scoreless 10th, recorded his first save.
In the seventh, pinch hitter Rickie Weeks ripped a three-run homer to straightaway center, his first as a Mariner, that would have iced the game without Rodney’s meltdown. Usually a slow starter, Dustin Ackley went 2-for-4 to improve his average to .357. He has a four-game hitting streak.
Cano hit the ball hard again, but went 0-for-4, his average dropping to .125. Seager’s single hiked his average to .182.
This marks the first time since Sept. 4-5, 1984, that Seattle has won back-to-back, extra-inning games on the road . . . Hernandez hurt his ankle early in the game and strained his right quad covering first on a ground ball, but is expected to make his next start when the Mariners return to Safeco Field later this week . . . The Mariners, who won despite getting out-hit 14-7, have won all their day games this season and dropped all night games.
The Mariners open a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday at 7:10 p.m. LHP James Paxton (0-1, 3.00) is opposite RHP Brandon McCarthy (1-0, 7.20). After three at Dodgers Stadium, the Mariners return to Safeco Field Friday for a three-game set with the Texas Rangers.