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.