Felix Hernandez suffered a lower back cramp and left the game for precautionary reasons in the seventh inning with two out and a 1-2 count on the hitter. Oliver Perez came on and finished off the inning, but the Mariners are down 3-1 and have just one hit — a “double” dropped in the sun — off Will Smith since he entered the game in the fourth inning Smith has retired 13 of 14 batters, with eight strikeouts. So, um, yeah, the offensive struggles we saw in Houston are still there.
1:05 p.m.: Kansas City scored twice more off Felix Hernandez in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. Jarrod Dyson outraced Hernandez to the bag for a one-out, infield hit, then went to third on a single to right by Alcides Escobar. With Alex Gordon up, Escobar promptly stole second. Hernandez then uncorked a wild pitch, bringing Dyson home and sending Escoar to third. Gordon later walked and Emilio Bonifacio hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring in the third Royals run of the game.
It could have been worse, since Gordon moved up into scoring position on the throw and would likely have made it home on an ensuing Eric Hosmer line drive that appeared headed into center field. But shortstop Brad Miller reached out and snagged the ball to end the inning and save Hernandez from additional damage.
12:46 p.m.: Felix Hernandez didn’t hold that lead very long as three consecutive one-out singles by Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth. The key play of the inning was Hosmer going first-to-third on a single up the middle.
Abraham Almonte charged the ball and had a shot at the runner, but made a weak, offline throw.More