Felix denied 8th Bronx win by Yanks' late rally

June 21st, 2018

NEW YORK -- The Mariners have been kings of the comeback this season, but the Yankees stole their act on Wednesday with a 7-5 walk-off win, as ripped a two-run homer off reliever with two out in the bottom of the ninth.

Stanton's homer came on an 0-2 slider, a 453-foot blast with 117.9-mph exit velocity, making it the hardest-hit walk-off homer since Statcast™ was implemented in 2015.

"I just didn't throw it where I wanted to throw it, simple as that," said Cook, a former All-Star reliever with the A's who worked his way back to the Majors this year after a series of injuries had derailed his career since 2015. "They're good hitters, and good hitters hit bad pitches."

The Mariners blew a 5-0 lead and have now lost three straight for the first time since mid-April against the Astros as they fell to 46-28, including their first two games at Yankee Stadium to kick off a 10-game East Coast road trip. Seattle is three games behind Houston (50-26) in the American League West.

allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits in a 95-pitch outing, but was destined for a no-decision after hit a game-tying homer off Alex Colome in the eighth inning. Hernandez's record remains 6-6 with a 5.14 ERA.

The positive for the Mariners is Hernandez has put together three solid starts in his last four and appears to be getting on track.

"I feel pretty good. I feel 100 percent," Hernandez said. "I think the last two starts are the Felix that I am. I'm making good pitches, throwing good fastballs, good curveballs, good changeups, so I'm glad."

Hernandez is 7-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 12 career starts in the Bronx, including a 1.44 ERA in 10 outings at the new Yankee Stadium.

"I love New York, and I love this ballpark," Hernandez said. "I love the atmosphere and fans and everything. There's a lot of history in this ballpark, so I like facing the Yankees."

Seattle got to rookie starter for three runs in the fourth, helped by a two-run single by Dee Gordon, and then added a pair off reliever in the fifth to make it 5-0.

But the Yankees chipped away with two off Hernandez in his final frame, helped by an error by left fielder , then nicked on a sacrifice fly by Didi Gregorius in the seventh before Sanchez's 439-foot bolt off Colome.

"We made a couple mistakes and you can't do that against this ballclub in this ballpark," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Bad things can happen, and that's what happened tonight. The guys in the bullpen have been very consistent, very good all year. It just wasn't their night tonight."

The Mariners have had 21 comeback wins of their own this season and six walk-off victories, while this is just the second time they've had a walk-off loss. The five-run lead is their largest in a loss this season.

"We won't panic," Hernandez said. "We have a pretty good team. This is baseball, you know it's going to happen. It was a close game, and we lost. But tomorrow is another day. We've just got to go fight again."

STRESSFUL RETURN FOR NICASIO

Things got dicey in the sixth for the Mariners when replaced Hernandez and -- in his first appearance off the disabled list -- immediately hit two of the first three batters he faced. But with Stanton and Sanchez poised on first and second, Nicasio struck out Greg Bird on a 95-mph fastball and got to fly out to right to preserve the 5-2 lead.

SOUND SMART

Hernandez's six strikeouts moved him past Luis Tiant into 42nd on MLB's all-time list with 2,418 in his 13-year career. Next up on the list? Former Mariner Jamie Moyer with 2,441.

HE SAID IT

"We're running into some really good teams who are playing really well. You have to grind these games out and try to snag one tomorrow and go from there. It'd be really impressive if we stayed on that streak we were on for the whole year. You just have to weather the storm and get right back on it." -- catcher Mike Zunino

UP NEXT

(6-1, 3.53 ERA) will try to salvage a win in the series finale in a great 10:05 a.m. PT pitching matchup against standout right-hander (10-2, 2.09 ERA). Paxton is coming off his shortest start of the season -- 2 1/3 innings with seven hits and six runs against Boston when several errors led to a rough outing. But he was 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings in his previous nine starts. This will be the first time he's ever faced the Yankees.