SAN DIEGO (AP) - The San Diego Padres had a hard enough time trying to shut down the regular members of the Seattle Mariners' lineup. They didn't realize they had to take care of starting pitcher Felix Hernandez, too.
Hernandez was great on the mound and chipped in at the plate, as well, in the Mariners' 5-1 victory over the Padres on Saturday night. He tossed seven strong innings and added a two-run double to pace Seattle on offense and defense.
Hernandez (5-5) turned in his second strong outing, limiting the Padres to one run and six hits. The right-hander struck out 10 and walked one. His only blemish was a balk that brought home San Diego's only run in the first inning.
Hernandez's double in the second - his first at-bat of the season - capped a three-run inning in which all the runs were unearned due to second baseman Logan Forsythe's error.
``When you least expect it from an American League pitcher, it happens,' said Padres manager Bud Black, a former major league pitcher. ``That turned the inning, obviously, from a one-run inning to a three-run inning.'
Hernandez had his second consecutive strong outing after surrendering one run in seven innings of Sunday's 2-1 win over San Francisco. In his previous six starts, Hernandez had an ERA of 6.37.
Michael Saunders hit a solo homer for Seattle, which has belted eight home runs and scored 32 runs in the first five games of its road trip.
The Padres, who had 11 hits in Friday night's 9-5 win, were held in check by Hernandez, who won for the first time since May 21 against Texas.
``He had great command of all his pitches,' pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay said. ``He had a real good feel for his split-finger, which makes his fastball that much more effective. His velocity was not as high as normal.
``But with an 88 mile per hour split, being able to throw it in the hitting zone, having it disappear, it's a tough test for hitters.'
Seattle's pitching staff had surrendered 39 runs through the first four games on the trip before Hernandez showed the form that won him the 2010 AL Cy Young Award.
Hernandez ran into trouble in the first inning when he gave up a one-out single to Cameron Maybin, who went to third on Chase Headley's double. Hernandez was then called for a balk on a pickoff throw to first base, allowing Maybin to score.
Hernandez then shut down the Padres. He got an inning-ending double play with runners at first and third in the fourth. In the seventh, with runners on first and third, Kotsay hit a hard liner to second baseman Dustin Ackley, who doubled the runner off second to end the inning.
Jason Marquis (1-3) allowed five runs - two earned - and six hits in seven innings. Marquis was coming off a career-high tying 10 strikeout performance.
Saunders got the Mariners' second-inning rally going with a one-out single. After a walk to Justin Smoak, Ackley hit a grounder to Forsythe, but his throw to shortstop Everth Cabrera bounced in the dirt.
Brendan Ryan then grounded out to score one run before Hernandez hit the first pitch he saw down the right-field line to break a 1-1 tie.
``I don't take anybody lightly,' Marquis said. ``Every pitch I throw has a purpose. I just left a sinker a little bit up. He stayed inside the ball and hit it down the first base line. If that pitch was down a little where I was trying to execute it, he hits it on the ground and it's a different result.'
Hernandez came into the game with a career batting average of .125 (3 for 24), although one of his hits was a grand slam, which came exactly four years earlier.
Notes: Hernandez has struck out at least 10 batters 18 times, two this season. ... This was the second straight game that an error by Forsythe led to unearned runs. On Friday, he mishandled Ichiro Suzuki's groundball in the first inning before Franklin Gutierrez homered. ... San Diego had its four-game winning streak over the Mariners this season snapped. ... Seattle has hit 51 homers in 42 road games, second to the New York Yankees. ... Mariners RHP Hector Noesi (2-8, 5.69) will face Padres right-hander Edinson Volquez (3-7, 4.11) in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday.
The Associated Press News Service
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