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From the game story …
Hernandez tossed eight innings, allowing just one run on three hits and the Mariners got just enough offense against Lester — back-to-back solo homers from Kyle Seager and Corey Hart — to pull out a 2-1 win. As a result, the Mariners took two of three from the wild-card leading A’s.
“I felt good today,” Hernandez said. “I was pounding the strike zone and that was the difference.”
Hernandez improved to 15-4 on the season and is now 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his last 11 starts at O.co Coliseum, dating to 2011. In his career, he’s 19-7 with a 2.35 ERA in 35 starts against the A’s.
After three less-than-stellar starts in a season where he has been otherwise dominant, much was made of Hernandez’s tendency to fatigue in the final month of the season and manager Lloyd McClendon’s handling of him and the entire staff.
But in a possible playoff preview, Hernandez delivered a playoff-level performance.
“I knew going in against Lester it would be tough,” Hernandez said. “It was special. It was a big game.”
The game wasn’t the only thing that was special.
“He was special today,” McClendon said.
After a brief pause, McClendon’s face turned to a look of bemusement.
“And I might add, he was rested,” the manager said referring to the debate of his shifting of the starting rotation to steal extra rest days for his starting pitchers.