Felix Hernandez finally hit a rough patch againstvthe Yankees.
Mark Teixeira and Chris Dickerson homered, Robinson Cano added a three-run double and New York rolled past King Felix and the Seattle Mariners 9-3 Monday night.
Last season’s AL Cy Young Award winner, Hernandez (14-12) entered with an exemplary history against the Yankees. In his previous six starts against them dating to Sept. 18, 2009, Hernandez was 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA, the longest winning streak by a Mariners pitcher against New York.
Overall, he was 6-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 10 career starts against the Bronx Bombers, and he hadn’t lost to the Yankees at Safeco Field since Aug. 23, 2006.
But this time, the Yankees scored five runs off Hernandez in the fourth inning and finished the night with 14 hits.
“They’ve got a pretty good lineup,” Hernandez said. “You have to respect that and make good pitches. In that inning, I just made a couple mistakes and got hit. It was only that inning but whatever happened, happened. You’ve got to keep trying.”
“That fourth inning, he was out and over a little bit,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “A few pitches up, a few pitches down but just cut over the plate and that’s what they were getting to.
“He couldn’t command his fastball. The ball was cutting more than normal, something you don’t often see. His secondary stuff, he wasn’t able to get over so when that happens you almost become a one-pitch pitcher. And against a good-hitting, veteran ballclub,
you’re not going to get away with that.”
Hernandez worked six innings, giving up nine hits and six runs _ one fewer than his season high. He struck out four with no walks.
With the one-sided victory, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera didn’t need to leave the bullpen for a chance at his 600th save.
Phil Hughes (5-5) pitched six strong innings to help New York increase its AL East lead to a season-high four games over idle Boston with 16 to play.
Hughes’ most difficult inning was the sixth, his final one. With the Yankees leading 6-1, Kyle Seager opened with a double and Dustin Ackley reached on an infield single. Mike Carp then line out to Derek Jeter at shortstop, but Justin Smoak walked to load the bases.
Hughes got Miguel Olivo to pop out softly to shortstop and Trayvon Robinson lined out to center.
“That was a huge situation,” said catcher Austin Romine, who made his first big league start. “He really dug deep right there. Larry (pitching coach Larry Rothschild) told him, ‘It’s your game. Let’s go get ’em.’ That fired him up.”
Dan Cortes took over for Hernandez in the seventh and the Yankees worked him over. Romine got his first major league hit, a single. Jeter followed with his 3,074th, a single that extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Curtis Granderson singled to load the bases, easing out from a 1-for-19 slide.
Teixeira struck out and then Cano, fouling off five fastballs after a 3-1 count, cleared the bases with a double to left. He’s a .471 hitter with 27 RBIs this season with the bases loaded. Six of
his eight hits have been for extra bases.
Olivo hit a two-run homer, his 18th, in the eighth off Scott