In a game that felt like a one-game playoff, and in fact could end up being a playoff matchup, Felix Hernandez was up to the challenge. So too were the Mariners bats apparently.
In a rare turn of events, Felix got more run support than he typically gets in a month as the Mariners jumped all over the Toronto Blue Jays 11-1 Monday night at Safeco.
On a night in which the roof had to be closed due to thunderstorms, the fans were electric, displaying their 10th Man pride, and Felix brought the lightning as per usual. He extended his streak of games with 7+ IP and two runs or less allowed to 16 straight, with another 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB and 8 K. The one blemish, a solo homer by Jose Bautista in the top of the 4th.
But they weren’t done. In the 6th, the Mariners offense brought the thunder.
Robinson Cano led off the inning with a solo homer to left, his 10th of the season. Then after Kendrys Morales grounded out, Seager walked and Zunino knocked him home with a triple down the right field line.
Aug 11, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) and Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) hug in the dugout after the final out against the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
After Logan Morrison struck out, Endy Chavez doubled to score Zunino and Brad Miller tripled in Chavez. Austin Jackson walked and stole second, then Dustin Ackley singled in both Miller and Jackson, giving the M’s the team cycle in the 6th.
Then it was Cano’s turn again. This time he drove a pitch to left-center that hit just inches from the top of the wall. His double scored Ackley and the Mariners had put up a seven-spot in the 6th.
Felix Hernandez has eight starts left in the regular season, and at 13 wins, stands a chance at his first 20-win season. If the offense continues to perform like this for him, he has a real shot.
2B – C Rasmus (16, F Hernandez)
HR – J Bautista (23, 4th inning off F Hernandez 0 on, 2 Out)
RBI – J Bautista (71)
2-out RBI – J Bautista
GIDP – D Valencia
Team LOB – 2
2B – R Cano (28, B Mills); K Morales (14, D Hutchison); E Chavez (7, D Hutchison)
3B – M Zunino (2, D Hutchison); B Miller (2, B Mills)
HR – R Cano (10, 6th inning off D Hutchison 0 on, 0 Out)
S – B Miller
SF – K Seager, B Miller
RBI – D Ackley 2 (44), R Cano 2 (66), K Seager (72), M Zunino 2 (45), E Chavez (14), J Jones (9), B Miller 2 (28)
2-out RBI – D Ackley 2, R Cano, E Chavez, B Miller
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out – D Ackley 2, K Morales 1
Team LOB – 5
SB – A Jackson (10, 2nd base off B Mills/D Navarro)
PB – M Zunino
DP – 1 (K Seager-R Cano-L Morrison)
HBP – L Morrison (by B Mills)
Pitches-strikes – D Hutchison 95-62; B Mills 64-35; F Hernandez 96-68; J Beimel 9-7; D Farquhar 17-12
Ground balls-fly balls – D Hutchison 7-9; B Mills 2-3; F Hernandez 10-4; J Beimel 1-0; D Farquhar 0-0
Batters faced – D Hutchison 26; B Mills 14; F Hernandez 24; J Beimel 3; D Farquhar 3
Game Time: 2:43.
Umpires: HP–Quinn Wolcott. 1B–Dale Scott. 2B–Ben May. 3B–CB Bucknor.
Weather: 81 degrees, Mildly Cloudy.
Wind: 0 mph, No Wind Direction.