Felix Hernandez was 14 years old the last time Henry Blanco hit a grand slam. That was back on May 12, 2000 against the Pirates and Jason Schmidt.
But Blanco turned the trick again today, his latest slam, coming in the sixth inning off Oakland Athletics starter A.J. Griffin, giving Hernandez and company all the offense needed for a 4-0 win.
The Mariners found a way to get it done here — albeit not the orthodox way. The gap between slams by Blanco is the fifth-longest in MLB history — the longest being Max Carey of the Brooklyn Dodgers at 15 years, 81 days back in 1927.
Hernandez did his part, tossing seven scoreless innings and battling out of some big jams. He got help from that Endy Chavez throw home in the fifth inning to nab Jed Lowrie, then used a strikeout and a double-play grounder to evade a two-on, none-out situation in the seventh.
That’s the eighth quality start in a row by Mariners pitchers. They’ve had seven quality starts in a row of at least seven innings.
And that quality mound work is buying the Mariners time in their struggle to find any offense at all while they wait for several players to return from Class AAA and the disabled list.
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