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June 4, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Mariners offense picked Felix Hernandez up in this game

Felix Hernandez looked great all night except for at the very beginning and very end of his 7 1/3-frames. As a result, though, he allowed four runs, yet still picked up the 7-4 win because the offense came through to pick him up the way he has done for the slumping bats for so many years now.

The White Sox scored runs the first two innings off Hernandez, but the Mariners did one run better to lead after the second frame. They then poured on three more in the third and that 6-2 cushion was enough for Hernandez to cruise most of the way from there.

He’d faced the minimum 17 batters between a pair of Alexei Ramirez hits in the second and eighth innings — allowing just a lone walk erased on a double play — but then a double by Tyler Flowers ended his night. Oliver Perez gave up another hit after that — the run charged to Hernandez — and needed a double-play from there to preserve a two-run lead.

But Michael Saunders did his team a big favor by putting his legs to work after a one-out walk in the bottom of the eighth.

Saunders stole second base, then third. And then, he scored a big seventh run when Kelly Shoppach lofted a sacrifice fly to left. This was a big night for the slumping Saunders, who also had a pair of earlier singles.

And it was a big night for the Mariners, too. They didn’t get a true ace-like effort from Hernandez, but didn’t need one because the hitters took care of business this time against an ailing Jake Peavy. Peavy left in the third inning with a sore rib on his left side and has an MRI scheduled for tomorrow.

By the time the White Sox got the bullpen in there, it was too late because five runs had crossed the plate and a sixth was soon charged to Peavy’s ledger with a Nick Franklin double.

The Mariners are back to seven below .500 and go for the sweep with Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound tomorrow.

 

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