Hernandez dominates, Mariners blank Blue Jays, 4-0
Felix Hernandez pitched eight shutout innings to win his third straight start, Kyle Seager and Jason Bay homered and the Seattle Mariners blanked the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 on Friday night.
Seager had three hits as the Mariners won for the sixth time in eight games.
Hernandez (4-2) allowed five hits, walked none and struck out seven, improving to 3-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his past four starts. He's 95-24 in his career when he receives two or more runs of support.
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the ninth for the Mariners, who had lost seven of their previous eight road games.
Hernandez came in 3-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career starts against the Blue Jays, easily his highest ERA against any opponent he's faced more than once, and had allowed seven runs in his previous two meetings with Toronto. But the right-hander was dominant in this one, allowing just two hits, an infield chopper and a bloop single, through the first six innings.
Adam Lind doubled to begin the eighth and went to third on Colby Rasmus' single. But Rasmus was doubled off first when Maicer Izturis lined out and Munenori Kawasaki grounded out.
The struggling Blue Jays lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Making his first start of the season, Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero (0-1) allowed three runs and three hits in four innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Romero started in place of right-hander Josh Johnson, who is on the disabled list with triceps soreness.
An All-Star in 2011, Romero went 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA and an AL-worst 105 walks in 32 starts last season, then was demoted to the minors at the end of spring training this year to work on his mechanics. After spending time at extended spring training, Romero made one start for Class A Dunedin last week, allowing one run in seven innings.
Romero looked sharp early against Seattle. He faced the minimum through the first three innings, striking out three and throwing just 33 pitches.
He struggled in the fourth, however, as the Mariners batted around and scored three runs on two hits and three walks.
Michael Saunders walked to begin the inning and Seager crushed the next pitch into the second deck in right, his fourth homer of the season.
Kendrys Morales was hit by a pitch and advanced on a wild pitch before manager John Gibbons and assistant trainer Mike Frostad came out to check on Romero, who seemed to have a problem with the fingers on his left hand.
Michael Morse struck out looking, but walks to Jason Bay and Justin Smoak loaded the bases for Dustin Ackley, who grounded an RBI single through the right side.
Jesus Montero followed with a one-hopper that struck Romero on the left forearm, but he recovered to flip home for the force out. Manager John Gibbons and Frostad came out again to check on Romero, who stayed in and got Brendan Ryan to pop out.
Bay hit an opposite field shot to right in the sixth, his third.
NOTES: Daren Brown joined the Mariners to serve as third base coach in place of Jeff Datz, who is battling cancer. Brown had been managing Triple-A Tacoma. Minor league catching coordinator John Stearns, who'd been filling in for Datz, will replace Brown at Tacoma. ... Blue Jays OF Melky Cabrera, who had batted sixth the previous two games, moved back to the second spot in the order, with Lind dropping to sixth.
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