San Diego, CA – Plagued by poor run support in recent years, Felix Hernandez helped his own cause on Saturday.
The 26-year-old Venezuelan smacked a two-run double and registered his 18th career double-digit strikeout game, tossing seven innings of one-run ball as the Seattle Mariners downed the San Diego Padres, 5-1, in the middle test of a three-game interleague series.
Hernandez (5-5) struck out 10, scattered six hits and walked one. The only run he gave up came on a balk in the first inning.
"Felix stepped up," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We really needed him to step up tonight and he did, and got a big hit for us."
Michael Saunders had a solo homer among his two hits and scored twice for Seattle, which had lost three of four games coming in.
Jason Marquis (1-3) surrendered five runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks in seven innings for the Padres, who have dropped six of their last eight.
The Padres opened the scoring on Hernandez's balk, but Seattle tallied three in the second inning and plated one each in the third and fourth to surge ahead.
Seattle loaded the bases in the second after Saunders slapped a one-out single, Justin Smoak walked and Dustin Ackley reached on a fielder's choice throwing error by Logan Forsythe. There were two away following Brendan Ryan's RBI groundout before Hernandez delivered the biggest hit of the game.
He poked the first offering from Marquis down the right field line, which brought home Saunders and Smoak for a 3-1 Seattle advantage.
"I've got to do a better job of limiting the damage," Marquis said.
Saunders laced a solo shot off the right field foul pole in the third, while Ichiro Suzuki ripped an RBI single into right-center for a 5-1 Mariners margin in the fourth.
Seattle's Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen allowed three hits and a walk over two shutout innings to seal the win.
Seattle was 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base while San Diego was 0-for-7 with RISP and stranded eight...Hernandez threw 64 of his 94 pitches for strikes.