SEATTLE -- Jesus Montero hit a two-run home run in the fourth and Nelson Cruz followed with a solo shot two innings later as the Mariners beat the Rangers, 4-2, to earn a series win on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.
"Sure, I believe Felix has a run in him," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon when asked if Hernandez has a shot at the American League Cy Young. "He may run the table, you never know. He's certainly not out of it. By no means."
Rangers starter Colby Lewis struck out six and allowed five hits and three earned runs over eight innings but saw his win streak snapped at three games after two of those hits went for home runs. Texas' lineup didn't generate much support, going 0-for-9 with RISP and leaving 10 runners on base.
"Colby had a very good outing," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It was not one where he came out on top but we knew it was going to be a struggle early. We seemed to be on him early but we let it get away in the middle innings."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cruz crushes another one: Cruz kept his bat red hot to lead off the sixth inning, launching an 0-1 fastball up in the zone from Lewis 410 feet to left for his 33rd home run of the season. The blast, which gave Seattle a 4-2 lead, extended Cruz's hitting streak to 19 games. He also has had an extra-base hit in nine straight games, bringing him within a game of Ken Griffey Jr.'s club record 10-game streak from 1993.
"I guess my approach is just right," Cruz said of his streak. "I go where the pitch is [thrown]."
Montero's mash: With one out in the fourth inning, Montero launched an 0-1 slider from Lewis 374 feet to left for his second home run of the season. The two-run shot gave the Mariners the lead and made Sunday's game Lewis' eighth straight in which he has allowed at least one home run.
Failure to communicate: Catcher Bobby Wilson dropped Mark Trumbo's high pop to lead off the third after first baseman Mitch Moreland didn't call off Wilson. Lewis picked the ball up but didn't notice Trumbo was trying for second. Lewis would have had him easily but threw too late, and Trumbo ended up scoring on a two-out single by Ketel Marte.
"That proved to be costly," Banister said.
Hernandez stifles Beltre: Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre likes to talk trash with Hernandez during games. They were once teammates on the Mariners. But Hernandez is getting the better of Beltre lately. He has won three straight starts over the Rangers and Beltre has just one hit in his last 12 at-bats off him.
"I don't even know where we would be without him. He's been tremendous on and off the field. It's unbelievable what he's accomplished this year. You look up at the board and it's almost jaw-dropping. You see the numbers. The slugging percentage, the OPS, it's off the charts." -- McClendon on Cruz
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was Lewis' eighth complete game for the Rangers since 2010 but he has now lost three of them. In all three cases, he pitched eight innings in a losing effort on the road. More >
Banister was thrown out of the game in the eighth inning by home plate umpire Lance Barrett for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. It is the third time Banister has been thrown out this season. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
After hitting a 1-1 sinker weakly over to first base to lead off the ninth inning, second baseman Rougned Odor hustled down the line and was called safe by umpire Dale Scott. McClendon challenged the safe the call, which stood after a short review.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: The Rangers are off on Monday before opening a three-game series with the Twins at 7:10 p.m. CT Tuesday at Target Field. Yovani Gallardo beat the Astros in his last start to snap a three-game losing streak. He is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA in seven career starts against the Twins.
Mariners: Left-hander Vidal Nuno (0-0, 2.88 ERA) will make his second start of the season as the Mariners open up a three-game series with the Orioles on Monday night at 7:10 p.m. PT at Safeco Field. In his first start on Tuesday, Nuno earned a no-decision, allowing three runs over 3 2/3 innings. He is 0-2 with an 11.17 ERA in three career games -- one start -- against the Orioles.