Cruz Homers Again, Felix Leads Mariners to 8-2 Win - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cruz Homers Again, Felix Leads Mariners to 8-2 Win

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Nelson Cruz hit his 39th home run of the season on Wednesday. Nelson Cruz hit his 39th home run of the season on Wednesday.

SEATTLE (AP) -- Felix Hernandez made just two mistakes in eight strong innings, Nelson Cruz hit his AL-leading 39th homer and drove in three runs and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 8-2 on Wednesday.

Seattle closed out its brief homestand with Hernandez rebounding after getting knocked around in his last start against the Chicago White Sox.

Hernandez (15-8) allowed a homer to Billy Burns on the first pitch of the game and a solo homer to Brett Lawrie on the first pitch of the seventh inning. Oakland's only other hit off Hernandez was a soft single from Billy Butler in the fifth.

Hernandez struck out seven, walked one and became the second AL pitcher to reach 15 wins.

Cruz's homer came in the eighth, but it was an early offensive outburst that backed Hernandez. Seattle sent 10 batters to the plate in the first and scored four times that inning off Chris Bassitt (1-6).

Cruz had an RBI single in the first to score Ketel Marte and the two teamed up again for another run in the sixth off reliever Pat Venditte.

The Mariners strung together five straight hits in the first, beginning with Cruz, and got RBI hits from Seth Smith, Mark Trumbo and Logan Morrison. It was the first time all season Seattle batted through the lineup in one inning.

Kyle Seager added a solo homer in the eighth, snapping a 0-for-14 drought.

Hernandez had lost his previous two decisions while giving up 14 earned runs and 21 hits in losing to the Red Sox and White Sox. Between Burns' leadoff homer - just the third Hernandez has allowed in his career - and Butler's single in the fifth, the only Oakland batter to reach base was Eric Sogard, who was hit by a pitch in the third. Hernandez retired 12 of 13 batters and matched his victory total from last year.


Seattle is bumping Vidal Nuno from his spot in the rotation and inserting left-hander Roenis Elias beginning with Thursday's series opener in Chicago against the White Sox. But that might not mean Nuno is completely out of the picture. Seattle also announced its Sunday starter in Chicago is "TBA," a spot that was originally slated for struggling rookie Mike Montgomery.


Oakland starter Felix Doubront is in line to make his start Saturday against Oakland after leaving Monday's game with a right foot contusion. Doubront had X-rays that came back negative.


Athletics: After an off day, the A's open up a series in Arizona with Sonny Gray (12-5) on the mound. Gray leads the AL with a 2.10 ERA.

Mariners: Elias makes his first start in the majors since July 2 as the Mariners open a road trip against the White Sox. Elias (4-6) lost three of four decisions with the Mariners in June and early July before being sent back to Triple-A Tacoma.

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