King Felix surpasses Jamie Moyer for all-time franchise wins, and Ketel Marte goes 4 for 5 with a three-run homer and fell a triple shy of the cycle in Seattle’s 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay.
The night ended with shortstop Ketel Marte getting a standing ovation after grounding out, and Felix Hernandez receiving congratulations from Jamie Moyer.
Oh, and the Mariners also beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 on Monday to improve to 19-13 and remain in first place in the American League West.
Tampa Bay @ Seattle, 7:10 p.m., ROOT Sports
“Pretty fun game I would say,” manager Scott Servais said.
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Hernandez has been the face of the Mariners for a decade now. In that time, he has been on the receiving end of plenty of well-documented close losses and no decisions.
For a while it looked like he might be headed for one more. Until Marte crushed a three-run home run in the sixth inning that broke a 2-2 tie.
Hernandez said he started thinking of the franchise wins record during the last couple of weeks and ranked it alongside his perfect game for career achievements. Moyer had a prepared video ready, congratulating Hernandez for passing his win total immediately after the game.
“It means a lot,” Hernandez said. “It’s an honor to be on top of that list.”
Fresh off his shortest start of the season, Hernandez lasted seven innings. He hit a couple of batters and gave up two home runs, but both were solo shots. He struck out four and gave up four hits and found his rhythm after a slow start.
“He’s gone through a lot here over the course of his career,” Servais said. “It was great to see him achieve that.”
The record belonged to Hernandez, but the night belonged to the 22-year-old Marte.
Servais calls Marte his team’s “swag guy.” Typically, he has focused that description on Marte’s ability to create havoc with his speed.
But he added another dimension to his swag — one that creates havoc with one swing: He hit his first home run of the season, a blistering three-run shot. In fact, Rays manager Kevin Cash thought Marte was going to bunt during the at-bat in which he eventually homered.
Marte was dynamic in every aspect. He beat out an infield single. He was alert and in the right position when catcher Chris Iannetta picked off a runner at second. He scored on a sacrifice fly — “Probably the only guy on our team who scores on that play,” Servais said. He hit two rocketed doubles. And, of course, he added the decisive home run.
“That’s pretty much everything you can do,” Servais said.
Hernandez agreed. “He’s pretty good, man. He’s really good. He can do a lot of things on the field. He can run, he can bunt, now he can hit homers.”
Marte’s home run made up for the Mariners’ wasted opportunities. Until his homer in the sixth, the Mariners had left nine men on base, including six in scoring position.
Marte scored three of the Mariners’ runs and was a triple shy of the cycle.
“I’m not surprised because I’m working hard every day to get a game like tonight,” Marte said.
His night ended with a ground out in the eighth inning, his only at-bat that ended with an out. As he headed for the dugout, he received a standing ovation.
“I was so happy,” Marte said. “That was my first time that they did that for me. I was so happy and so excited.”