The Mariners had runners on. And runners on. And … you get the picture.
They were leveraging Angels starter Joe Blanton, of the 7.84 ERA and .426 BAA by lefties coming into the game, no less. Yet, they found a way out of the scoring much of the night.
When Jesus Montero slammed a two-run homer to left-center in the sixth, he pulled the Mariners even and provided hope another Felix Hernandez performance would not be wasted in Seattle’s eventual 3-2 win.
Hernandez was down 2-0 because Chris Iannetta of the Flying Iannettas hit a solo homer off him in the third and Mike Trout hit a sacrifice fly later that inning. Iannetta had been 0-for-8 coming in against Hernandez, who said he hung a slider to Iannetta.
Hernandez’s ERA is down to 1.90 and WHIP 0.96, yet he’s barely 3-2. What else is new?
Some quick hitters from the Mariners’ 10th win of the season:
> Hernandez conceded he was a bit tired after eight innings though he had thrown just 95 pitches. Postgame, his elbow, shoulder and lower back were wrapped in ice. That was quite a load, even for a guy who had just pitched.
> Montero said Mark Trumbo — 6-4, 220 pounds — steaming toward him on a safety squeeze was “scary.” It turned out to be a crucial play in the game when Hernandez flipped Brendan Harris’ bunt with his glove to Montero who blocked the plate to pick up the out in the fourth inning.
> Montero’s homer, his second of the season, begrudgingly dragged the Mariners into the scoring column. They left 11 runners on base Saturday night and almost let a game between Hernandez and a struggling starter on the other side slip away.
> Also, Montero when asked about Hernandez dominating again: “Like always. He throws invisible ball.”
> Kendrys Morales was taking a routine day off before pinch-hitting in the seventh and driving in the winning run. With a lefty on the mound, Wedge went to the switch-hitting Morales to force a decision from Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Scioscia stuck with lefty Michael Roth and Morales singled to left to bring in Kyle Seager. Morales pinch-hit for Ibanez, quelling what would have been a lefty-lefty matchup. Here’s Wedge on that decision, something he didn’t do in similar instances earlier in the year with Ibanez:
“If I didn’t use Kendrys right there, I would have a decision to make. Do I leave Ibanez in for the lefty or if I go to Bay, they’re going to bring in the right-hander. Sometimes those are the situations because you’re going to take your chances left-left or take your chances right-right. Earlier on in the year, I do believe in giving these guys opportunities, whether it be a tough matchup or extending them a little bit … See what they do. I think it’s important to do that.”
> Seager has an 16-game hitting streak.
> Ibanez’s single in the second snapped an 0-for-13 skid.
> The Mariners will face old friend Jason Vargas on Sunday afternoon.