Seattle, WA – In his first start since tossing the first perfect game in Seattle Mariners history, Felix Hernandez stifled the Cleveland Indians over 7 2/3 strong innings as the M's downed the Tribe, 5-1, Tuesday at Safeco Field.
Hernandez (12-5) allowed just one run on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts to improve to 8-0 with a 1.53 earned run average over his last 12 starts.
"That's the best game I've ever pitched here at Safeco Field," said Hernandez. "In front of these guys, the crowd is unbelievable, all yelling, 'Felix, Felix,' that's something special right there."
Jesus Montero clubbed a three-run home run, John Jaso smacked an RBI double and Eric Thames added a solo shot for the Mariners, who have won 14 of their last 15 home games and seven straight overall.
Roberto Hernandez (0-2) pitched well in his second start of the season, yielding four runs on three hits and two walks over six-plus innings to take the loss.
"He was cruising up until that seventh inning, but he gave us an opportunity," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I like the way he's thrown the ball."
Casey Kotchman registered two hits and knocked in the lone run for the Indians, as they lost their seventh straight game and dropped to 10-28 since the All-Star break.
Roberto Hernandez held the M's hitless over the first four-plus frames, but Thames got the home team on the board in a big way when he crushed a two-out blast into the right-field seats to give Seattle a 1-0 lead.
Cleveland finally broke through in the seventh as Carlos Santana smacked a one-out single before going first-to-third on Michael Brantley's base hit to right field.
Kotchman then ripped a single to center that skipped off the glove of shortstop Brendan Ryan, plating Santana to knot the game at 1-1.
Felix Hernandez then fired a pickoff attempt into center field to put runners on the corners, but a failed suicide-squeeze attempt caught Brantley between third and home before Justin Smoak applied the tag for the second out of the inning.
Brent Lillibridge went down swinging to end the frame.
Thames' homer in the fifth stood as Seattle's lone hit until the bottom of the seventh when Michael Saunders walked and Kyle Seager followed with a single through the right side of the infield to put runners on the corners.
Jaso then lifted a ground-rule double into left-center field to plate Saunders before Esmil Rogers entered for Roberto Hernandez and Montero crushed his fourth offering deep into the left-field seats to provide Seattle with a 5-1 edge.
With runners on the corners and two outs in the eighth, Lucas Luetge induced a groundout from Shin-Soo Choo to end the frame before working around a leadoff single in the ninth to nail down his second save of the season.
The Indians have lost 17 of their last 18 road games ... Felix Hernandez has not lost since June 12 against the San Diego Padres. He has allowed 17 earned runs over his last 100 innings pitched ... Cleveland went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.