Felix dominates Twins with eight sharp innings

Felix dominates Twins with eight sharp innings

Felix dominates Twins with eight sharp innings
SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez doesn't usually need much run support. Saturday evening, it appeared he wouldn't get any.

The dynamic right-hander did his part, throwing eight innings of one-hit ball, and the Mariners offense broke through in the sixth inning to beat the Twins 7-0 in front of 28,437 at Safeco Field, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

"Felix went out there and just pitched tremendously again," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "Just commanded the ballgame and it was close obviously deep into the ballgame, but it's nice to see our young offensive players really step up there for him."

After squandering several chances earlier in the contest, the Mariners finally put runs on the scoreboard in the sixth. With Dustin Ackley on third and Ichiro Suzuki on second with two outs, Kyle Seager ripped a fastball up the middle for a single, giving the Mariners a 2-0 lead.

But Seattle wasn't done there. After Hernandez made quick work of the Twins in the seventh, the Mariners went to town on the Minnesota bullpen. Seattle loaded the bases with no outs and Brendan Ryan brought home pinch-runner Casper Wells from third on a sacrifice fly to left.

Ichiro followed with a two-run triple to stretch the lead to 5-0 and Seager put the icing on the cake, unloading a scorching line-drive home run into the right-field seats for the final margin, 7-0.

"That feels really good," said Seager of stopping the losing streak. "It had gone on a little too long for our liking, for sure. Any time you have Felix on the mound, you feel like you've got a good opportunity there, and you know our pitching has been great as of late. We just got to score more runs, and fortunately today we were able to get a few across for him."

"Awesome. Awesome. Awesome," said a smiling Hernandez on the run support, putting an exclamation on the final "awesome" with a fist pump. "That's how he win."

Hernandez, who entered the game limiting Minnesota hitters to just a .206 average in 12 career games, put on another outstanding performance on Saturday, retiring the final 13 batters he faced. He set down the Twins 1-2-3 in seven of his eight innings of work.

Steve Delabar came on in the ninth to close out the game. It is the third team one-hitter for the Mariners and first since Michael Pineda, Jeff Gray and Brandon League did it on July 30, 2011.

Hernandez found himself in just one jam. He lost control and walked two straight batters to load the bases in the fourth but settled down and induced Chris Parmelee into an inning-ending fly ball to left.

Hernandez threw more than 16 pitches in an inning just once (22 in the fourth), and struck out nine batters, while walking two. It is just the second time Hernandez has been given more than three runs of support in an outing this year.

"That's just vintage Felix, if you ask me," Wedge said. "The way he moved his fastball around, he was dropping his breaking ball, slider, using that changeup effectively. He had a tremendous feel, I felt like. Just mixing his pitches and doing a good job of working ahead for the most part."

"He's got so many different pitches and he hides the ball good and keeps it down," Twins acting manager Scott Ullger said. "If you got four above-average Major League pitches and you got command like him, he's going to be tough to hit, and that's what he has right now."

Josh Liebeskind is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jlieb24. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.