In the first inning of tonights game, it looked as though Felix Hernandez was going to struggle through yet another outing. With Padres on 1st and 3rd and only one out, Carlos Quentin was at the plate. Felix went to make a move to first to pick off Chase Headley and was charged with a balk. That allowed Cameron Maybin to score from third base and the Padres were already on the board. Felix got Quentin to fly out to shallow center and then struck out Yonder Alonso to end the inning.
It was the second inning that the Mariners started to apply pressure on starter Jason Marquis. After a Jesus Montero strikeout, Michael Saunders singled and Justin Smoak followed with a walk. Dustin Ackley reached on a throwing error by second baseman Logan Forsythe on a play in the hole. If Forsythe went to first he would have had a sure out, but trying to make the leaping turn to throw back to 2nd caused him to spike the ball into the ground and Everth Cabrera couldn't make the play on it.
Bases loaded, one out. Brendan Ryan hit a grounder to short and tied the game as it rolled slow enough that the only play was to first base. Then came Felix Hernandez to the plate. His first at bat this year and on the very first pitch he saw, he hit a line drive over the head of first baseman Yonder Alonso and into the corner. Justin Smoak scored, Dustin Ackley scored and Felix went into second base standing up. The M's were up 3 to 1.
Felix would stroll through the rest of the game, striking out two in the bottom of the second and striking out the side in the bottom of the third. He would end up going 7 innings before being replaced by a pinch hitter in the top of the 8th. Felix struck out a total of 10 hitters, allowing 6 hits and 1 walk and only one run. An earned run, but it was on a balk, not a hit.
Michael Saunders hit a homer in the top of the 3rd inning to make the score 4 to 1 in favor of the Mariners. He was 2 for 3 with an RBI and 2 runs scored on the day. In the 4th, Ichiro Suzuki hit an RBI single to score Dustin Ackley from 2nd base. Ackley had walked and stole 2nd. Ichiro was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a walk.
The Mariners put an end to the San Diego Padres winning streak against them. After 4 consecutive losses against the Pads, it was time to get that horrible monkey off their back. One last game tomorrow against them and the Mariners will return home to face the Oakland A's and test their ability to hit at Safeco Field once again.
The Mariners are going to roll the dice with Hector Noesi again as they face Edinson Volquez. Volquez is 3 and 7 with a 4.11 ERA compared to Noesi and his 2 and 8 record with a 5.69 ERA. The only thing we can hope for is that Noesi has learned from his last outing and makes his pitches when he is ahead in the count. He's more than capable of pitching great, but there is a disconnect somewhere. Let's hope he's reconnected tomorrow.