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April 2, 2007 at 5:02 PM

Sexson flips the switch; M’s lead 4-0

Richie Sexson just drilled a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth off A’s starter Dan Haren, the two-out blast coming on a 1-1 pitch. It was a no-doubter, lined over the wall in center, to cap a four-run inning by the Mariners.
Sexson had only two extra-base hits — both homers — all spring if you’ll remember, so it looks like he really can turn things on when he needs to. All of the Seattle runs in the inning were unearned, courtesy of shortstop Bobby Crosby, who dropped the relay toss on the front end of what would have been an inning-ending double-play grounder by Jose Vidro.
Instead, the Mariners loaded the bases with one out and scored the season’s first run on a Raul Ibanez sacrifice fly to right field. Up came Sexson and Felix Hernandez now has a comfortable lead heading into the home stretch.
FELIX AT 12 K
Hernandez gave up a leadoff walk in the seventh and a one-out single to center, but fanned Nick Swisher and Bobby Crosby (great day for him!) to end the threat. The Mariners then sent Hernandez back out to work the eighth, his pitch count at 96, and he notched his career-high 12th strikeout, this one on Travis Buckl.
An error by Yuniesky Betancourt prolonged the frame but Hernandez got Shannon Stewart to bounce into a fielder’s choice. That’s 109 pitches for Hernandez. I suspect his day is done. And what a day it was.

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