Hernandez gets 11th win, Mariners beat Angels 7-2
SEATTLE (AP) Felix Hernandez's final start before the All-Star break was up to the standard he's created for himself in Seattle.
His next turn will come in Cincinnati at the All-Star Game and potentially as the American League starter for the second straight year.
Hernandez threw seven shutout innings to become the third pitcher with at least 11 wins before the All-Star break, Logan Morrison hit the first leadoff home run of his career and the Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-2 on Thursday night.
Hernandez (11-5) was dominant, giving up five hits and only once facing trouble in reaching the 11-win mark before the All-Star Game for the second time in his career. He's tied with Houston's Dallas Keuchel for most wins in the American League. Gerrit Cole of Pittsburgh leads the majors with 12 victories.
Hernandez started the All-Star Game last year and could get the nod for a second straight year.
''For me it would be an honor. I would love to start the game. We'll see,'' Hernandez said.
Seattle's ace was backed by a surprising offensive outburst. Morrison's 12th homer of the season was just the start for Seattle. The Mariners had a season-high 19 hits, 12 off Angels' starter Garrett Richards (9-6), who could not make it through the sixth.
Mike Zunino added two hits and two RBIs, while Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Seth Smith all had RBI singles as Seattle added three runs in the eighth inning.
The 19 hits were the most since having 20 against Texas on May 30, 2012. Seven different Seattle players had at least two hits.
''We took advantage of some pitches (Richards) elevated early,'' Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''He settled down a little in the middle, but he's awfully tough and been tough on us traditionally.''
With Hernandez on the mound, Seattle didn't need much from its bats.
Hernandez struck out six, winning for the first time since June 17. He also reached 11 wins before the All-Star Game last year and has won at least 10 games prior to the break in each of the last three seasons.
The Angels never had more than one runner on base at a time until the seventh when Erick Aybar reached on a bunt single and Matt Joyce walked on four pitches. Hernandez fell behind C.J. Cron 3-0 and walked him on a full-count pitch to load the bases.
The Angels rally ended there. Hernandez struck out Carlos Perez on three pitches and got a groundout from pinch-hitter Efren Navarro to end the threat.
The surging Angels had won the first five games of their road trip and nine of 10 but Richards faltered. He had been 3-0 with a 0.97 ERA in his previous five games against Seattle.
Richards tied his career high allowing the 12 hits - eight after Seth Smith and Dustin Ackley led off the fourth inning with consecutive singles. The last was by Zunino with one out in the sixth.
Richards had won his last two starts, going 7 2-3 innings in both outings while giving up a combined 13 hits and three runs in beating Seattle and Texas.
''Garrett's really been pitching well. He just had a tough time commanding counts and that led to not being able to put pitches together,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Carson Smith got the final out for his sixth save but McClendon would have rather not used him. Seattle entered the ninth leading 7-1, but struggles by Vidal Nuno and Danny Farquhar loaded the bases and forced the Mariners to use Smith.
Angels: Closer Huston Street is likely out for the weekend series after tweaking his groin in Colorado on Wednesday. Street was feeling better, but the plan is for Joe Smith to be the closer against Seattle.
Mariners: CF Austin Jackson was out of the lineup after leaving Wednesday's game with back spasms. The Mariners hope Jackson will be able to play Friday.
Angels: Hector Santiago (5-4) makes his final start before the All-Star break. Santiago has a 1.83 ERA in his last six games, five starts, since June 6.
Mariners: Mike Montgomery (4-2) is 3-0 with a 0.38 ERA over his last three starts giving up just one run in 23 2-3 innings. Montgomery had a streak of 20 straight scoreless innings snapped in his last start.