Mariners See Vintage Felix But Bats Go Quiet, Manaea, A’s Win 2-1
After an offensive explosion the last 2 games against the A’s, the Mariners bats were silenced after a dominating performance for Oakland LHP Sean Manaea. The Mariners do take the series from the A’s, 2 games to 1.
While the offense was disappointing, Felix Hernandez was anything but. The long-time Mariners Ace got off to a shaky start in the first. After a balk was called on Hernandez, the umpires reversed the call, but did not call Marcus Semien out. 2 pitches later, Jed Lowrie took a poorly located fastball over the right-field wall, giving the A’s a 2-0 lead.
Those 2 runs would be all Oakland would score, but also all they needed. Felix quickly rebounded, throwing 6.1 innings of 5 hit ball. Hernandez also set a season high with 7 strikeouts on the day. What made “The King” great today, was his ability to change locations and use of an effective pitch-mix.
He had good run on his 2-seam fastball, and threw his slider more than usual. Felix was also able to throw his changeup in the zone more often, which led to more swings and misses. This start makes back to back starts in which Hernandez has looked like the #2 the Mariners need him to be. Overall, it was his 3rd solid start of the season.
The Mariners finally got onto the board in the 5th inning. Taylor Motter blasted a pitch into the back of the bullpens in left field, his first “Motter Pop” of the season. Unfortunately, it was one of only 2 hits Seattle could muster, the other a single by Kyle Seager.
There was some bad BABIP luck on both sides, with several hard-hit balls finding the gloves of Oakland Athletics.
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The Mariners record now stands at 8-5, and will welcome the Houston Astros to Safeco Field for a 4 game series beginning tomorrow. James Paxton will toe the rubber for the Mariners. The Astros will counter with former Cy Young Award Winner Dallas Keuchel.