BOSTON -- Felix Hernandez shares the American League lead with 14 wins, but The King has had some clunkers as well this year, the latest resulting in a quick exit from Saturday's 22-10 loss to the Red Sox.
Three years to the day since his perfect game against the Rays in 2012, Hernandez gave up a career-high-tying 10 runs on 12 hits before being pulled after 2 1/3 innings with Seattle trailing, 10-2.
"Embarrassing," Hernandez said. "I couldn't get the ball down. Every pitch I threw, they hit."
Hernandez retired only six of the 20 batters he faced. The only other time the 11-year veteran has allowed 10 runs was May 16, 2006, against the A's and this was the first time he's given up 10 earned runs. The 12 hits were one shy of his career high, but it was the third time in his past four starts that Hernandez allowed double-digit hits.
Manager Lloyd McClendon and Hernandez both said the 29-year-old didn't have any health issues.
"Felix is fine," McClendon said. "He just threw a clunker. It's the way it is."
Hernandez fell to 14-7 as his ERA jumped from 3.11 to 3.65. He was 5-3 with a 2.78 ERA over his previous 10 starts and came into the game tied with Houston's Dallas Keuchel for the most wins in the AL and eighth in ERA and strikeouts. But in his seven losses this season, Hernandez now has an 11.35 ERA.
He gave up eight runs in just one-third of an inning against the Astros on June 12, allowed 12 hits and seven runs in 6 2/3 innings to the D-backs on July 29 and 11 hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings in a win over the Rockies on Aug. 3.
"You want me to analyze it?" McClendon said when asked why Hernandez has been so up and down. "I did analyze it. It was a bad outing. What do you want me to say? Yes, it was a bad outing. Today was a bad outing. Tomorrow hopefully we have a good outing and win a ballgame."
"My bullpen was fine, but when I came into the game it was a different situation," he said. "I was up and I couldn't make any adjustments. It was on me. It was my fault. I was trying everything out there, I just couldn't find anything."
Hernandez also had a walk and hit a batter, nailing Sandoval in the right elbow in the third after Sandoval had launched a solo homer to center in the second. The two work out with the same trainer in Venezuela during the offseason.
"It was just a ball that cuts a lot," Hernandez said. "It was a fastball that cut into his elbow. I just texted him. Hopefully he's fine."
The 29-year-old Mariners ace gave up three hits in the first, but escaped unscathed thanks to a double play. But Boston teed off with five runs on six hits in the second, just the fifth time in Hernandez's career he's allowed six-plus hits in the same frame.
Things didn't get any better in the third when he gave up De Aza's two-run homer and finally was pulled after doubles by Bradley and Brock Holt. By the end of the day, the Mariners had allowed their most runs in a single game in franchise history as well as their first back-to-back games of 15-plus runs.
"These last two games were not good for us," Hernandez said. "We just have to forget about it. Tomorrow's another day. That's the good thing about baseball. You get another chance tomorrow."