Justin Smoak just launched a two-run homer deep on to a grass berm beyond the center field fence to give Felix Hernandez and the Mariners a 3-1 lead in the fourth. They’ve measured it at 413 feet.
Jose Lopez led off with a walk and — one out later — Smoak followed with his second homer in two days and sixth hit over the last three contests. He’s on quite a roll.
Hernandez gave up a leadoff single in the third inning to Bengie Molina, then later issued a two-out walk and then an RBI single to David Murphy that had briefly pulled Texas into a 1-1 tie. But the key to that frame was Hernandez getting Nelson Cruz to ground into a fielder’s choice for the third out.
Don’t forget, Cruz has five homers off Seattle pitching already this season.
Mike Carp is done for the year. He has a partially torn platar fascia in his right foot. I’m told the injury isn’t as serious as it’s been in the past. There have been significant medical advances in it the past five to 10 years.
Carp will begin rehabbing in three weeks. There’s a very good therapist who deals with this type of injury and who is located just two miles from Carp’s home in Orange County, Calif.
Russell Branyan is still awaiting an opinion on his back issues. David Aardsma has some pain after pool exercise yesterday so he won’t be throwing tonight. Brandon League gets the call to close. If he isn’t ready to go, Dan Cortes would get a shot.
5:33 p.m.: Felix Hernandez leads 1-0 after an inning of play. Ichiro led off the first with a single, then took third on a bloop double down the left field line by Jose Lopez. Franklin Gutierrez had a sacrifice fly after that.
Hernandez walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the inning. The runner, Estenban German, was bunted to second. But David Murphy grounded out and Hernandez fanned the always-dangerous Nelson Cruz.
No Vlad Guerrero or Michael Young or Ian Kinsler in the Rangers lineup. They’re takin’ it easy before the playoffs. Not quite the A-Team out there.
In Toronto, C.C. Sabathia has given up just one hit through five innings — a home run to Travis Snider. Hernandez had done the same thing through five last week, with Jose Bautista getting the blast. Only difference is, Sabathia’s team scores runs, so he’s up 3-1 instead of trailing 1-0. Wow, does he know how to win, or what?
David Price has a four-hitter through five shutout innings so far down in Tampa against Baltimore.
5:06 p.m.: Seattle tries for its third win in a row tonight. The M’s have scored 13 runs the last two games. What universe is this, again? Anyhow, Felix Hernandez on the mound for possibly the final time this season. If the M’s are ever going to score again, they’d best do it tonight.
2B Chone Figgins
3B Jose Lopez
CF Franklin Gutierrez
1B Justin Smoak
DH Matt Mangini
C Adam Moore
LF Michael Saunders
SS Josh Wilson
RHP Felix Hernandez
2B Esteban German
SS Andres Blanco
LF David Murphy
DH Nelson Cruz
RF Jeff Francoeur
1B Mitch Moreland
3B Jorge Cantu
C Bengie Molina
CF Julio Borbon
RHP Scott Feldman