CINCINNATI – Manager Eric Wedge called the Mariners together in the clubhouse shortly before the start of their game to break the news: Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma had been picked for the AL All-Star pitching staff.
Things went downhill quickly from there.
Cesar Izturis drove in three runs, matching his season total, and Mat Latos doubled home two more on Saturday, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a 13-4 victory over the Mariners.
The Reds got only their second win over Seattle in interleague play. The Mariners are 9-2 overall in the series.
It was the second-most runs the Mariners had allowed this season, trailing a 16-9 loss to Houston on April 9. The Reds scored more runs than in any game since a 13-7 win over Milwaukee on May 11.
"They were knocking the ball all over the place," Wedge said.
Izturis, making his ninth start at shortstop, singled home a run in the second and doubled home two more in the fifth off Jeremy Bonderman (1-3).
Latos (8-2) matched his season high with four walks in six innings, but also doubled his RBI total by driving in a pair of runs with a double. He allowed six hits and fanned 11 while throwing 111 pitches.
Kyle Seager drove in three runs off Latos with a homer and a sacrifice fly.
Bonderman was coming off his shortest start since 2007, going only 3 1-3 innings during a 7-6 loss to the White Sox on June 30. He lasted longer, but didn't fare much better. The right-hander went five innings, allowing seven hits, five walks and six runs. Five of them scored with two outs.
The pivotal hit was Latos' tying two-run double with two-out in the fourth. He then scored from second base on Shin-Soo Choo's single, putting the Reds ahead to stay.
"I gave up a double to a pitcher. For me, that's unacceptable," Bonderman said. "I feel I was throwing the ball well until I gave up that hit. Then it kind of unraveled."
For the second day in a row, the Mariners got a two-run homer in the first inning to jump-start the offense. Nick Franklin had a two-run shot off Mike Leake during a 4-2 win on Friday night.
Endy Chavez singled and Seager followed with his 13th homer, which barely cleared the wall in right field above the Mariners' bullpen. Seattle has 21 homers in the first inning this season, most in the majors.
Izturis doubled home two more in the fifth, and Jay Bruce added a two-run double during a three-run sixth that put it away.
At least the Mariners could enjoy having the two starters chosen for the AL All-Star squad. Iwakuma leads the league with a 2.60 ERA, followed by Hernandez at 2.69. It's the fourth All-Star selection for Hernandez, who didn't pitch last year at Kansas City or the previous year in Arizona.
"I think I'll be able to pitch," Hernandez said.
It's the first All-Star selection for Iwakuma, who signed with the Mariners before last season.
"You can see my smile," he said through a translator. "I'm very, very happy."
Iwakuma isn't likely to pitch in the game in New York because he is on turn to start Seattle's final game before the All-Star break, leaving him inadequate time to rest and recover.
"It's unfortunate to not be able to pitch," he said. "At the same time, I want to enjoy the atmosphere."
Wedge was gratified that his top two starters made the All-Star team.
"They're the top two in the league in ERA," Wedge said. "You're talking about masters of consistency. You feel good every time they go out there. They're very different in how they pitch and what they do, but both of them have gotten to the point that they've mastered what they do."
NOTES: Rocker Alice Cooper chatted with Reds GM Walt Jocketty and pitcher Bronson Arroyo — whose hobby is music — before throwing a ceremonial pitch to Arroyo. ... Mariners OF Raul Ibanez, who has an 11-game hitting streak, was out of the lineup. He's 0 for 11 career against Latos, his worst numbers against any pitcher. ... Franklin was out of the starting lineup after fouling a pitch off his right knee on Friday night. He pinch-hit and struck out. ... The Mariners traded INF Alex Liddi to the Orioles and exchanged signing slots for international players as part of the deal. ... Reds OF Xavier Paul had a sore right shoulder after running into the wall in foul territory on Friday night.
Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay