Comment
0
Tweet
0
Print
RSS Feeds

Hernandez dominates, Mariners blank Blue Jays, 4-0

Friday - 5/3/2013, 11:19pm  ET

Toronto Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Friday, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn

IAN HARRISON
Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) -- Ricky Romero's new-look delivery produced some all-too familiar results.

Felix Hernandez pitched eight shutout innings to win his third straight start, Kyle Seager and Jason Bay homered and the Seattle Mariners beat Romero and the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 on Friday night.

Making his first start of the season, Romero (0-1) allowed three runs and three hits in four innings to lose for the 14th time in his past 15 decisions. He walked three and struck out four.

"Nothing to hang my head about," Romero said. "Just looking forward to getting some rest and preparing for my next outing."

Shut out for the third time this season, the struggling Blue Jays lost for the seventh time in eight games and fell a season-high 10 games below .500.

Romero started in place of right-hander Josh Johnson, who is on the disabled list with triceps soreness.

An All-Star in 2011, Romero went 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA and an AL-worst 105 walks in 32 starts last season, then was demoted to the minors at the end of spring training this year to work on his mechanics. After spending time at extended spring training, Romero made one start for Class A Dunedin last week, allowing one run in seven innings.

Recalled to face the Mariners, Romero was greeted with a warm ovation when his name was announced before first pitch.

"It feels good to be home," he said. "I don't think I belong anywhere else other than here."

Romero looked sharp early, facing the minimum through the first three innings, striking out three and throwing just 33 pitches.

He struggled in the fourth, however, as the Mariners batted around and scored three runs on two hits and three walks.

"At the beginning of the game I thought he was dynamite," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I know he's a little disappointed in that, but I think it's a good starting point."

Michael Saunders walked to begin the fourth and Seager crushed the next pitch into the second deck in right, his fourth homer of the season.

Kendrys Morales was hit by a pitch and advanced on a wild pitch before Gibbons and assistant trainer Mike Frostad came out to check on Romero, who said he had a callus on his left hand.

Michael Morse struck out looking, but walks to Bay and Justin Smoak loaded the bases for Dustin Ackley, who grounded an RBI single through the right side.

Montero followed with a one-hopper that struck Romero on the left forearm, but he recovered to flip home for the force out. Gibbons and Frostad came out again to check on Romero, who stayed in and got Brendan Ryan to pop out.

"I just lost control of where the fastball was going," Romero said. "Almost seemed like I was spiking it."

Romero's arm stiffened after the inning and he was removed. X-rays were negative and he is day to day.

"It got me in a pretty good spot," he said.

Hernandez (4-2) allowed five hits, walked none and struck out seven, improving to 3-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his past four starts.

"I've been aggressive, I've been throwing a lot of strikes and that's the key for me," Hernandez said.

Hernandez is 95-24 in his career when he receives two or more runs of support.

"He's special," Seager said. "He goes about his business. You give him a couple of runs and you know he's going to take care of the rest."

Seager had three hits to help the Mariners win for the sixth time in eight games.

"He's been very consistent," manager Eric Wedge said of Seager. "He does a lot of things right."

Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the ninth for the Mariners, who had lost seven of their previous eight road games.

Hernandez came in 3-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career starts against the Blue Jays, easily his highest ERA against any opponent he's faced more than once, and had allowed seven runs in his previous two meetings with Toronto. But the right-hander was dominant in this one, allowing just two hits, an infield chopper and a bloop single, through the first six innings.

"We ran into Felix there," Gibbons said. "He's not going to give you anything when he's on."

Adam Lind doubled to begin the eighth and went to third on Colby Rasmus' single. But Rasmus was doubled off first when Maicer Izturis lined out and Munenori Kawasaki grounded out.

"That was big, that was real big," Hernandez said of the double play.

   1 2  -  Next page  >>