(The Sports Xchange) - Felix Hernandez had his start cut short by a stiff right elbow, but he was good enough in his 5-2/3 innings to pitch the Seattle Mariners to a 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Hernandez (18-9) is 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five starts against Texas this season, becoming just the fifth pitcher to beat the Rangers at least five times in a season.
He left because of the elbow, but by then the Mariners were comfortably ahead 8-2.
“If you make good pitches, stay down in the zone, you can pitch against them,” Hernandez said of his success against Texas.
“Those guys, they can hit home runs anyway. If I make quality pitches, I think I’ll be OK.”
Hernandez allowed two runs on four hits, striking out five and walking five and he is not expected to miss his next start.
Hernandez said he will see how he feels Monday but that his goal is to win 20 games. He has never had a 20-win season, with his career-high, 19-win season coming in 2009.
The loss to Hernandez and the Mariners cut Texas’ lead over the Houston Astros in the American League West to 1-1/2 games.
The Mariners gave Hernandez all the run support he needed when they blew open a 2-2 game with six runs in the fifth inning, five of them coming off Texas starter Derek Holland (3-3).
“We were able to get his pitch count up,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said of Holland.
“He has been tough on us. We had good at-bats against him. He hung a breaking ball to Robby (Cano), and (Cano) didn’t miss it. Our guys put together good at-bats.”
The Mariners had 14 hits, with Seager leading the way with three. Robinson Cano was 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury