DETROIT -- Remember the old narrative about Felix Hernandez never getting any run support? Maybe it's time to put that storyline to rest as the Mariners jumped on the Tigers for a 9-5 victory to split Saturday's doubleheader and add another win to Hernandez's column.Hernandez allowed five runs in five
DETROIT -- Remember the old narrative about Felix Hernandez never getting any run support? Maybe it's time to put that storyline to rest as the Mariners jumped on the Tigers for a 9-5 victory to split Saturday's doubleheader and add another win to Hernandez's column.
Hernandez allowed five runs in five innings, but walked away with the win to improve to 5-3 with a 5.66 ERA on the season. The Mariners have scored 29 runs in Hernandez's five victories, and he leads the team in wins despite his career-high ERA.
"We won this game because of the offense, not because of me," Hernandez said. "I had nothing today. It was one of those days you don't have a feel for your pitches. I knew it wasn't my day, so I just tried to fight back and make good pitches. I appreciate the offense. They were pretty good."
Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and Ryon Healy added a two-run shot as Seattle improved to 22-16 by winning the nightcap after a 4-3 loss in Saturday's first game. The Mariners are 12-5 in their last 17 road games and have yet to lose a series away from Safeco Field, with a chance to continue that streak in Sunday's finale.
Hernandez took a 6-2 lead into the fifth, but allowed a two-run homer to former Mariners catcher John Hicks, and then saw JaCoby Jones aggressively score from first on a single to right by Pete Kozma.
The Mariners answered with three runs of their own in the seventh on Kyle Seager's two-run double and an RBI double by Healy, who went 2-for-5 and drove in three runs. Healy has seven homers and 15 RBIs in his last 13 games.
"We were able to bounce back," said Manny Acta, acting manager while Seattle skipper Scott Servais attends his daughter's graduation. "Our offense picked us up. Felix fought himself the whole day."
The Mariners felt they should have won the opening game Saturday, and came out swinging in the finale.
"When you lose an emotional game and get a little upset about it, it can fuel your fire a little and bring a little more energy," Seager said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After an impressive April, Cano has been relatively quiet in May and was hitting .209 with no homers in the first 11 games of the month until launching his three-run blast to end Tigers starter Michael Fulmer's night in the fifth. Cano drove the 2-1 changeup a projected 419 feet, per Statcast™, for his fourth homer of the season.
The Mariners' bullpen allowed just one hit over four scoreless innings, including a perfect sixth by James Pazos. The young lefty extended his scoreless streak to 12 1/3 innings, and his 1.28 ERA is the best among Seattle's relievers.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Nelson Cruz hits home runs for a living. And occasionally -- very occasionally -- he steals bases for fun. With the Mariners leading just 6-5 in the seventh, Cruz thundered into second with his first stolen base of the year and survived a replay review to put runners on second and third. That set up Seager's two-run double to give Seattle some cushion. Cruz had gone 165 games since his last stolen base, which was his only one in 2017.
"I'm feeling good and I'm healthy, so why not? I wanted to be in scoring position for my best friend," Cruz said, with a smile toward Seager in the adjacent locker.
HE SAID IT
"He's 1-1, and that usually keeps you on the job. But when Gardy [Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire] got thrown out earlier in the game, he came to me and said, 'Don't get thrown out, please.' I know a lot of people are disappointed I didn't get thrown out because they wanted Ichiro to manage, but I don't think he wanted to manage because for some reason he told me not to get thrown out." -- Acta, on Ichiro Suzuki's two games as bench coach
James Paxton, who fired the sixth no-hitter in Mariners history on Tuesday in Toronto, takes on the Tigers in Sunday's 10:10 a.m. PT series finale at Comerica Park. Paxton has allowed just two runs with 33 strikeouts over 22 innings in his last three starts. He's 2-1 with a 3.19 ERA in five previous starts vs. Detroit. The Tigers will counter with lefty Blaine Hardy (0-0, 6.75 ERA).