For all the power hitters they have in one of baseball's most stacked lineups, the New York Yankees just looked helpless against Felix Hernandez.
King Felix dominated the Yankees in their own ballpark again, pitching his third shutout of the season to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 1-0 win on a sunny, sticky Saturday afternoon.
It was one of the most powerful performances by a visiting pitcher in the Bronx in decades. The last pitcher to win a 1-0 complete game in the Yankees' ballpark was Greg Swindell, who did it for Cleveland in September 1988 against a Yankees team that finished fifth. Hernandez was 2 years old at the time.
The last pitcher to win 1-0 while allowing two hits or less in the Yankees' ballpark was Baltimore's Jim Palmer, who pitched a two-hitter on June 1, 1978. The Mariners' franchise was in its second season at the time.
"He had everything," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He had all four of his pitches, couple different fastballs where he cut it and he sank it. Changeup was outstanding. And, like I said, he was never in any bad counts."
Hernandez (10-5) has the lowest career ERA at the new Yankee Stadium of any pitcher with at least two starts. He lowered his ERA to 1.13 after his second shutout at the new ballpark. He beat the Yankees 7-0 on June 30, 2010. Overall, it was the seventh career shutout for the All-Star right-hander.
Hernandez outpitched Hiroki Kuroda in a duel of pitchers who haven't lost since June. Mike Carp hit an RBI single in the second inning for Seattle, which bounced back from having its seven-game winning streak ended the night before. The Yankees have lost 10 of 15.
Kuroda said Hernandez's performance pressed him to pitch better.
"I think a little bit because, as great a pitcher as he is, you know we're not going to score many runs, so you're going to manage their lineup a little more strict than I normally do," Kuroda said through a translator.
After Robinson Cano doubled with two outs in the first, Hernandez didn't allow a runner to second. He began the ninth against the top of the Yankees order and retired Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano in order, fanning Cano to end the game in a breezy 2 hours, 32 minutes.
Only seven balls were even hit out of the infield — all to center field until Jeter flied out to right field for the second out of the ninth.
"Even on a Felix day, I still figured there'd be some better swings out there, and there were a couple balls hit hard, but that was outstanding," Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan said. "That changeup, it defies science."
Hernandez gave up two hits and two walks while winning his sixth straight decision. Both free passes were with two outs.
Kuroda (10-8) left in the seventh after he hit Ryan with a pitch following a one-out double by Eric Thames. The Mariners shortstop went down on the plate and stayed there for a while, before he walked to the dugout with a trainer gingerly holding his left arm steady. Munenori Kawasaki pinch-ran, but he and Thames were stranded when Boone Logan retired Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders.
Carp's single scored the first run Kuroda has allowed in a day game this season, ending a run of 31 scoreless innings. He stranded seven Mariners runners.
Seattle stranded two runners in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Mariners had runners on first and third with one out in the sixth, but Kyle Seager popped to shortstop and Casper Wells hit into a force out.
Kuroda gave up seven hits and a walk, with four strikeouts for his first loss since June 19. He went 4-0 in seven starts in between.
"He was phenomenal as well," catcher Russell Martin said. "Gave up one run. Usually with this lineup, we're able to score a few runs."
Not Saturday. The Mariners' .233 team average is third from last in the major leagues. It didn't matter.
"He was better than us," Jeter said. "That's pretty much all you can say."
NOTES: Ryan's elbow was swollen and red after the game, but Seattle manager Eric Wedge said X-rays showed no break. Ryan said he expects to play in the next series, in Baltimore starting Monday.... New York's Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the third, giving him exactly 11 hits during the streak. ... The Yankees hosted a drive to sign up people for a database of potential bone-marrow donors. Volunteers collected DNA swabs from fans before and during the game. ... Former Mariners starter Freddy Garcia (4-5) will pitch Sunday for the Yankees against Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma (2-2) in a matchup of right-handers.