Felix Hernandez was looking at another ‘sorry, Felix’ loss tonight until the bottom of the eighth inning, when a two-out, three-hit rally brought the Seattle Mariners from behind for a 2-1 victory that was Felix’s 13th of the season.
After trailing Dan Haren and the Los Angeles Angels all night, 1-0, the Mariners chased Haren in the eighth with two-out singles by Franklin Gutierrrez and rookie Dustin Ackley. Against Angels LHP Scott Downs, Mike Carp doubled home both runs – his 24th and 25th RBI of August.
That, in turn, matched Danny Tartabull’s 1986 franchise rookie record for RBI in a month.
“It was a big month,” Carp said. “It was nice to play a month here.”
Of the six Seattle hits, five were from rookies – two from Carp, two from Kyle Seager, one from Ackley. Carp said the victory might carry a little weight in 2012.
“It’s a matter of showing teams in our own division what we’ve got,” Carp said. “It gives us – and maybe them – something to think about next year.”
Felix was delighted by Carp and his teammates.
“Carp and all those young guys,” Hernandez said. “They play tough, they have a little attitude. When I was young, I was exactly the same.”
Felix is 25.
Needing three more outs, manaer Eric Wedge had a decision to make. Bring in closer Brandon League or let the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner finish the game.
“You love to see him finish it off,” Wedge said. “It is a big deal. Felix is a true ace, and for our guys to step up late for him, get him the chance for a win? That’s big for the whole club.”
Felix finished his fifth complete game of the season, the 18th of his career, with nine strikeouts and a 3.27 ERA.