By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) _ Felix Hernandez broke Alex Rodriguez’s left hand
when he hit him with a pitch in the eighth inning, and the Seattle
Mariners ace picked up his fifth straight win in a 4-2 victory over
the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
Rodriguez was hit with an 88 mph changeup and went down in
considerable pain. The Yankees said he has a non-displaced fracture
of the hand, and there is no timetable for his return. He will be
placed on the disabled list and will remain in Seattle with the
team for the series finale Wednesday.
Hernandez (9-5) allowed a home run to Curtis Granderson in the
first inning _ the first long ball he’s allowed in his last eight
starts. But Hernandez pitched out of trouble in the later innings
to extend his longest win streak since he won nine straight in
2010, his Cy Young season.
Hernandez also hit Derek Jeter and former teammate Ichiro Suzuki
in 7 1-3 innings of four-hit ball.
Michael Saunders hit his 10th homer of the season for Seattle in
the first inning and one-time Yankees prospect Jesus Montero added
an RBI single in the third that proved to be enough support for
After slumping through parts of May and early June, Hernandez
has been brilliant since the middle of last month. He’s pitched at
least seven innings in seven of his last eight starts and allowed
two earned runs or less in each of those seven.
He gave up two runs to the Yankees and had retired eight
straight before hitting Suzuki on the foot with a breaking ball
with two outs in the seventh.
That started a string of problems with control for Hernandez,
who plunked Jeter to start the eighth and hit Rodriguez with a 3-2
pitch that tailed inside. Rodriguez was replaced by Jayson Nix.
Lucas Luetge took over and immediately gave up a single to
Robinson Cano to load the bases and Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice
fly to score Jeter. Luetge sent Raul Ibanez to his backside with a
pitch under his chin before striking him out on a 3-2 breaking ball
and preserving the Mariners lead.
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13
Before control problems ended his night, Hernandez pitched out
of jams in the fourth and fifth innings. He threw 34 pitches in the
fourth, but struck out Ibanez and got a line out from Eric Chavez
after the Yankees had loaded the bases with one out. Suzuki put
Hernandez back on the defensive with a leadoff double in the fifth
and advanced to third on Jeter’s groundout. After getting burned by
Granderson in the first inning on a fastball, Hernandez struck out
the Yankees’ homer leader on a 1-2 breaking ball down in the strike
zone and another threat was erased.
Yankees starter Freddy Garcia (4-4) looked more like the 2001
version that won 18 games with the Mariners and was an All-Star.
Garcia struck out a season-high eight and retired the final 15 he
faced before being pulled with one out in the eighth.
Seattle manufactured a pair of runs in the third thanks to
aggressive base running. Brendan Ryan went from first-to-third on
Saunders’ single to right, testing and beating the throw from
Suzuki. He scored on Montero’s broken-bat blooper with Saunders
following Ryan’s lead and going first-to-third, also beating
Suzuki’s throw. Saunders then scored on John Jaso’s sacrifice fly.
Kyle Seager added a check-swing, RBI infield single with two
outs in the eighth for his AL-leading 34th two-out RBI.
NOTES: Rodriguez recorded his 2,000th career strikeout when he
went down swinging in the sixth inning on a changeup from
Hernandez. … Suzuki was hit by a pitch for the first time since
July 20, 2010. … Hernandez hit three batters in a game for the
third time in his career
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)