Attempting to win their fourth straight game, the M's turned to their ace, Felix Hernandez, to accomplish just that.
Hernandez came into the game with a 3-3 record and a 3.02 ERA and was coming off his worst outing since the 2010 season. Allowing six runs in a loss to Cleveland isn't exactly an ideal game to have before facing arguably the best offense in baseball with the AL Triple Crown leader in Josh Hamilton.
No challenge is too big for the King, though.
Hernandez shrugged off his last outing and absolutely dominated the Texas lineup. In his eight innings pitched, he only allowed one run on six hits and added seven strikeouts in the 6-1 Seattle victory.
The lone run he gave up was a leadoff homer in the eighth to Mitch Moreland. Moreland was the only Ranger who could keep up with Hernandez on the night, adding a double to go with his home run to have a 2-4 night. In fact, not counting an Ian Kinsler stolen base, he was the only Ranger to make it to second base on the night.
Hernandez's big night in front of the home crowd, and the infamous King's Court, brought him to 4-3 on the season. By allowing only one run on the night, he managed to bring his ERA to 2.80. His seven K's tied him with reigning Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander for most strikeouts in the American League at 68.
If Hernandez can continue to dominate lineups like he did Monday, despite minor setbacks like the two previous games, he could be in store to bring home some hardware at the end of the year.
Not to be lost in this, Seattle's offense continues to thrive, now scoring four or more runs in each of its last five games.
If the pitching can remain this solid and the offense can continue to produce runs for a change, the team could make a run at first. Sitting at 6.5 games back right now, a sweep of Texas could put the Mariners in good shape.
*Stats are from MLB.com.
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