Felix Hernandez didn’t have his usual command, but he did enough in five innings to get his first win of the season as Mariners took the second game of the Yankees series.
Felix Hernandez picked up his first win of the season and tied Randy Johnson’s franchise record with his 2,162nd strikeout, but also gave up a career-high=tying six walks in a 3-2 win over New York Saturday (box). Hernandez improved to 6-1 all-time at the new Yankee Stadium.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the fifth, lead-off man Leonys Martin hit a solo homer over the right field wall against starter C.C. Sabathia. Two outs later, Robinson Cano knocked in Ketel Marte from first with a hard-hit single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw. Nelson Cruz doubled to left to score Cano.
Clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth, reliever Mariners closer Steve Cishek, with two outs, allowed the game-tying runner to reach third and the game-winning runner to reach second. Working with a full count against 3B Chase Headley, Cishek forced a 4-3 groundout to end the game.
Martin’s solo shot was his second of the season, finishing 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. Cruz went 2-for-4, while Cano was 1-for-3, both with RBIs. The Mariners had 10 hits and 13 strikeouts, with 15 runners left on base.
Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez had an afternoon he’d rather forget, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
Hernandez (1-1) pitched five innings with five hits and four strikeouts to tie Johnson’s record. Vidal Nuno, Joaquin Benoit and Nick Vincent each contributed an inning, with Vincent the victim of a Carlos Beltran home run in the seventh. Cishek picked up his first save of the season.
“He didn’t make it look easy today. It’s a tough lineup. They’re going to work him and make him throw strikes. Obviously he didn’t have his best command today, but Felix doesn’t give in.” – Mariners manager Scott Servais on Hernandez
Saturday’s was the third meeting between Sabathia and Hernandez, but marked the first time that either had a decision . . . Hernandez’s career-high six walks was the fourth time he reached the number . . . Seattle is 8-2 in its last 10 games against the Yankees in New York . . . Cano is seven RBIs short of the 1,000 mark in his major league career . . .The Mariners are 4-1 on the road.
In a game that will draw lots of attention from Japan, Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 4.09) will look to complete the three-game sweep for the Mariners against RHP Masahiro Tanaka (0-0, 3.38) at 10:05 a.m. Sunday. They are the first pair of one-time Japanese teammates to oppose each other as starting pitchers in the major leagues. The 35-year-old Iwakuma and the 27-year-old Tanaka played together from 2007-11 with Rakuten.