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June 12, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Felix Hernandez tries to get Mariners back on-track after long layoff

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The wheels came off the proverbial wagon for Seattle in the sixth inning, with the Padres scoring four times to go up 5-1. Carlos Qunetin drew a leadoff walk — the fifth time in six innings Hernandez put the leadoff guy on — followed by a high popup that Brendan Ryan failed to make a near-impossible catch on in shallow left.
Ryan was initially charged with an error, even though Chone Figgins should have taken charge in left field and tried to make the play. The ruling was eventually changed to a single for Yonder Alonso and then — after a fielder’s choice with a force out at third — Cameron Maybin hit a single to center that put the Padres ahead 2-1.
Nick Hundley followed with an RBI single, briefly answering the question of who the worse hitter is between him and Seattle’s Ryan, then Everth Cabrera tripled to bring another run home.
Hernandez uncorked a wild pitch fro there to plate the fourth Padres run of the inning. Hernandez only got out of further damage when Migul Olivo picked a runner off third base, followed byu a strikeout. Hernandez is now done and Shawn Kelley is on in the seventh.
The Mariners loaded the bases in their half of the sixth, but a two-out flyball by Michael Saunders was hauled in just before the center field warning track. Lots of excitement, but no dice.

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8:37 p.m.: We’re tied 1-1 heading into the sixth inning. Michael Saunders did all he could to help the Mariners take a lead in the fifth, legging out a surprise double, then stealing third with one out. But Chone Figgins — winning the crowd over tonight, let me tell you — took a called third strike on the outside corner, then Ichiro eventually grounded out with two on.
It was Ichiro who helped tie the game in the fourth, beating out a leadoff infield hit, then taking second on a Dustin Ackley single. Jesus Montero then hit a towering popup to center and Ichiro did a good job of tagging and taking third. He eventually scored on a Kyle Seager ground out.
Felix Hernandez has put the leadoff batter on in five of six innings tonight after just walking Carlos Quentin to start the sixth. Hernandez gave up a leadoff triple to Chris Denorfia in the fourth, but escaped on a groundout to the left side that forced the runner to hold, a strikeout and then a popout.
Justin Smoak has given the ball a ride to both gaps tonight, only to have the balls caught at the warning track.
7:52 p.m.: That’s seven baserunners allowed in three innings by Felix Hernandez, who trails 1-0 as we head to the bottom of the third.
Hernandez put the leadoff batter on for the third straight frame and paid for it this time as Everth Cabrera reached on a walk, stole second base and then scored when Carlos Quentin wrestled a little flare into left field for a single. Quentin’s ball was one of the softest hit by the Padres tonight. But the timing was right.
7:42 p.m.: Two innings into this game and guess what? Yep, we’re still scoreless. The Mariners don’t have a hit, though Justin Smoak gave it a ride to right center in the bottom of the second, only to have the ball hauled in at the warning track. Seen that before.
Felix Hernandez has yielded four base runners in two innings on two singles, a walk and a hit batsman. But the Padres helped him out in the first inning when leadoff man Will Venable got picked off first base by Hernandez.
Cameron Maybin then grounded into a 1-6-3 double-play to help Hernandez escape the second inning.
7:02 p.m.: The Mariners have dropped two in a row, but get the chance to pad their record a bit these next few days against the San Diego Padres, deserved owners of the worst record in baseball. As the saying goes: if they can’t beat these guys, well…let’s not go there.
Anyhow, it’s been 11 days since Felix Hernandez last took the mound and got pummeled by the Chicago White Sox. But Hernandez’s back is said to be feeling better and these Padres? They ain’t the White Sox.
Kyle Seager has been moved up to cleanup for tonight, while Jesus Montero goes in at the No. 3 spot in the order.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins, Jesus Montero

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