ARLINGTON -- Felix Hernandez improved to 4-0 on the season and won his first game in Arlington since 2010 as the Mariners beat the Rangers, 5-2, on Wednesday to sweep a three-game series and move within a game of .500.
Hernandez, who has a 1.82 ERA in five starts, gave up five hits and two runs over 6 2/3 innings while topping Texas for the second time this year. He passed Jamie Moyer for the most innings pitched in a Mariners career at 2,095 1/3 and also struck out four batters to move within one of Johan Santana for the most strikeouts in Major League history by a Venezuelan pitcher at 1,987.
"He didn't have his best stuff, not even close," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. "But he gutted it out. He's a competitor."
The Rangers lost their fifth straight to Seattle and dropped to 7-14. Veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez gave up four runs on five hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings in his second start for the Rangers.
"I felt like against Felix there were some good at-bats," said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. "We hit the ball hard. I felt like we had an opportunity to put runs up on the board."
It was the Mariners first sweep of a series of three-or-more games in Arlington since 2002.
"This team always plays us tough, so this is a good sweep for us," said Hernandez as the Mariners improved to 10-11 and now head to Houston in the second leg of a 10-game road trip.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cruz clobbers another one:Nelson Cruz didn't get cheated on his 10th home run of the season for Seattle, launching a shot into the second deck in left field to lead off the second against Rodriguez. The blast was measured at 483 feet by MLB's Statcast, which would make it the longest homer in the Majors this season in at-bats measured by Statcast. With one game remaining this month, Cruz has the third-most homers in March and April by any Mariner player behind only Ken Griffey Jr.'s 13 in 1997 and 11 in '98. More >
Peguero can't get past Cano: Adrian Beltre led off the Rangers fourth with a single. That brought up Carlos Peguero, who hit a one-hop smash to the right side. But second baseman Robinson Cano flagged it down and turned it into a double play. More >
LoMo breaks the ice:The Mariners couldn't capitalize on two bases-loaded situations in the first four frames, but Logan Morrison finally turned the tide in the fifth with a two-run double after the sacks were full once again for Seattle. Morrison skipped a ball past the glove of first baseman Kyle Blanks to score Justin Ruggiano and Cruz for a 4-2 lead that ended Rodriguez's night. Morrison went 4-for-5, tying his career high for hits in a game, to raise his average 45 points to .194. More >
Rangers rotation drought continues: Rodriguez took the loss, allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings. The Rangers haven't had a win from one of their starters since Yovani Gallardo beat the Mariners on April 17. They are 0-6 with a 4.26 ERA in their last 10 starts. More >
"That's pretty sweet. I'm glad I'm healthy and I can do that. I love this place. I'm happy where I am right now." -- Hernandez on breaking Moyer's record for most career innings for a Mariners pitcher
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cruz's second-inning home run landed in the second deck beyond the left field wall. It is the 19th time that a player has hit one into the "club level" over the past 22 years at the ballpark. Cruz has done it three times. Juan Gonzalez is the all-time leader with four.
The Rangers lost a review challenge in the fifth inning that kept them from seizing on a chance to cut into the Mariners' 4-2 lead after Leonys Martin doubled with two outs. Rougned Odor followed with a grounder to shortstop Brad Miller, whose throw to first was high and inside. Odor was called out by first base umpire Brian O'Nora and the Rangers appealed, believing that the throw pulled Morrison off the bag. But after review, the call was upheld.
"The replay, it was a close one," Banister said. "The way we saw it, it was worth challenging. It was one that could have gone either way. It didn't go our way."
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: Seattle heads to Houston to open a four-game set on Thursday with the AL West-leading Astros. Lefty James Paxton (0-2, 6.86 in four starts) will be looking to get on track in the 5:10 p.m. PT opener in his first career appearance against the Astros. Paxton has allowed 21 hits and 16 runs (13 earned) in 13 2/3 innings over his last three outings.
Rangers: The Rangers are off on Thursday before opening a three-game series with the Athletics at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday in Arlington. Colby Lewis is pitching for the Rangers. He beat the Athletics on April 7, allowing one run in six innings.