OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Felix Hernandez felt he had nothing to work with in the bullpen. His night took a turn for the better once he started making pitches that counted.
“It was bad,” the veteran right-hander said of his pregame warmup. “I think it was the worst.”
Mitch Haniger homered twice and Hernandez won for the first time in more than two months as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 7-1 on Monday.
A day after being eliminated from playoff contention, the slumping Mariners snapped Oakland’s season-high seven-game winning streak and its eight-game run at home – the team’s second-longest in 11 years.
Seattle had lost eight of nine.
Hernandez (6-5) gave up one run in six innings of two-hit ball.
“It’s baseball; it’s like that,” Hernandez said. “It’s weird.”
King Felix hadn’t won since July 15, a stretch that included a stint on the disabled list from Aug. 2 to Sept. 13 with right shoulder bursitis. He was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his previous five starts.
“He found his rhythm and he just executed and he made pitches tonight,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
“He wasn’t trying to strike people out tonight because he knew maybe he didn’t have his top-notch stuff, but he executed at the bottom of the zone. It goes to show what kind of talent Felix really has.”
Haniger hit his 15th and 16th home runs off starter Daniel Gossett (4-10). The 24-year-old Oakland rookie gave up seven runs and a career-high four homers.
Mike Zunino hit a three-run shot, his 24th, that broke a scoreless tie in the second. Yonder Alonso added his 26th homer, connecting against his former team.
Marcus Semien hit a solo homer off Hernandez in the sixth.
Andrew Albers pitched three shutout innings for his first save.
MAXWELL IN THE LINEUP
A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell played his first game since becoming the first player in the majors to kneel during the national anthem Saturday, part of a national protest movement against discrimination and harsh treatment of blacks by police. He was greeted with a loud ovation along with some boos sprinkled in from the Oakland crowd of 9,329. Maxwell cleared the concussion protocol on Monday. He hadn’t played since Sept. 20.
“It was unexpected, just because of the negativity that I’ve gotten, but it was refreshing,” Maxwell said. “People actually care about people in this country, so it’s a good thing.”
SHOW OF SUPPORT
In an apparent show of support for Maxwell, most of the Oakland Unified School District band members took a knee as they performed the national anthem before the game.
The 31-year-old Hernandez became the fifth active pitcher to log more than 2,500 career innings – all with one team. “It means a lot,” Hernandez said. “I made a comment when I signed my contract here that I’m not going to disappoint anybody.”
Mariners: INF Jean Segura (sprained right middle finger) will likely miss the remainder of the series, Servais said.
Athletics: Rookie 1B Matt Olson had an MRI and was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. The 23-year-old power hitter is doubtful for the rest of the season, manager Bob Melvin said. … LHP Sean Manaea, who missed his last scheduled start on Saturday with upper back tightness, threw a bullpen and is on track to make his next start Thursday, Melvin said.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-5, 3.03 ERA) is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts since coming off the disabled list Sept. 14. He had been sidelined with a strained left pectoral muscle. Paxton is 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five career starts against Oakland.
Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (2-1, 3.30) is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his last three starts. Mengden took the loss in his only career start against Seattle last season. He struck out six and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings.
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