ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Felix Hernandez said it was ``scary,' and the rest of the Seattle Mariners agreed.
Turns out it was a false alarm.
Hernandez took a line drive off his right forearm during the Rangers' six-run fourth inning Saturday, and Texas used a patchwork lineup to beat the Mariners 7-3 one day after it clinched the AL West title.
The Rangers had already scored four times in the fourth when Hernandez (14-14) was struck by Michael Young's one-out liner. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner fell to the ground as the ball caromed toward third base for a single.
Hernandez was attended to by a team trainer, and was soon walking to the dugout, grimacing in pain and done for the day. X-rays were negative.
``Nothing's broke,' Hernandez said. ``I was trying to catch (the ball). I've been hit before, but not in my arm. It hurt! They were hitting pretty good pitches. They were finding a lot of holes. Then they found me.'
Hernandez was charged with seven runs, five earned, and 12 hits in his shortest outing since he pitched 3 1-3 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on May 7, 2010. He went 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in his final three starts of the season.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge was relieved when he heard the right-hander avoided a more serious injury.
``We dodged a bullet there,' Wedge said.
Texas secured its second straight division title about 15 hours before Saturday's first pitch, and celebrated well into the night. Regulars Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus and Mike Napoli were in the dugout for the middle game of the series, and the Rangers really didn't need them.
Esteban German and Andres Blanco each had three hits for Texas, which has won six of seven. Reliever Scott Feldman (2-1) allowed three runs and five hits in four innings to get the victory.
Rangers rookie Leonys Martin made his first big league start. The Cuban center fielder had two hits and scored twice.
The Rangers trailed 2-1 heading to the bottom of the fourth, but that didn't last long. German and Endy Chavez had RBI singles and David Murphy followed with a two-run single.
After Young's drive knocked out Hernandez, reliever Jeff Gray threw wildly to the plate while trying to record a forceout at home. Two more runs scored on the error, giving Texas a 7-2 lead.
The Mariners finished with three errors, and had several other misplays.
``It was one of our worst games, if not the worst,' Wedge said. ``It was unacceptable. It was ugly. That's not what I'm about and not what we're about. I don't care if you have three games left or 103 games left, that's unacceptable.
``I'm not talking just about the errors but about some other plays that should have been made. We had a few conversations on the bench today, and we'll have some more tomorrow.'
Texas took the lead in the second when Martin doubled and scored on Blanco's single.
The Mariners responded with two runs in the fourth. Mike Carp had a sacrifice fly and Justin Smoak singled in a run.
NOTES: Hernandez is 2-7 against Texas over the last two seasons. ... Wedge said OF Casper Wells is ``pretty much out for the season' because of an equilibrium problem. ... Wedge said Smoak would play 1B on Sunday after serving as DH in his last two games. Smoak has been limited by a groin injury. ... Seattle C Miguel Olivo banged his right knee into the brick wall behind home plate after chasing a foul popup in the fourth. Olivo was down for a few minutes but remained in the game. ... The Mariners are 4-14 against the Rangers heading into Sunday's finale. LHP Charlie Furbush starts for Seattle against LHP Derek Holland.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved