Photo: Felix Hernandez
Ace Felix Hernandez had another strong outing and got just enough run support as the Seattle Mariners edged the Oakland Athletics 3-2.
Hernandez (11-2), whose next start could be in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, gave up six hits, struck out nine batters and walked two Friday night at Safeco Field in Seattle.
The Venezuelan’s start to the 2014 season has been so strong that the two runs he gave up over eight innings caused his ERA to rise slightly from 2.11 to 2.12, second-best in the American League.
Both of Oakland’s runs came in the top of the first inning - on a home run off the bat of Stephen Vogt and a run-scoring single by Jed Lowrie. King Felix then settled down and allowed just three hits over the next seven innings to get the win.
Dominican closer Fernando Rodney worked a scoreless ninth for his 27th save.
The Mariners tied the game at 2-2 when Endy Chavez drove in Brad Miller with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third. A Logan Morrison home run an inning earlier had put the Mariners on the board.
The winning run came in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Robinson Cano, who was voted to the All-Star Game by the fans, hit a double down the left-field line that drove in James Jones.
A’s starter Jeff Samardzija (1-1), who was recently acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a trade, took the loss after giving up three runs in eight innings.
The Mariners improved to 50-43 but are still eight games back of the American League West-leading A’s, who have the best record in the Major Leagues at 58-35.