SEATTLE — Felix Hernandez outpitched Jeff Samardzija, Robinson Cano hit a go-ahead double and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 Friday night.
Fernando Rodney got his 27th save, getting Nick Punto on a called strike three to end it with a runner on third. Punto slammed his batting helmet to the ground with both hands and argued with plate umpire James Hoye, and A’s manager Bob Melvin joined in, saying the full-count pitch missed the strike zone.
Hernandez (11-2) threw eight strong innings. He reached 11 victories before the All-Star break for the first time in his career, getting nicked for two early runs and then shutting down the AL West-leading A’s the rest of the night.
Hernandez made his 11th straight start going at least seven innings and giving up two earned runs or less. It’s the longest streak for an American League pitcher since Gaylord Perry had 11 straight for Cleveland in 1974.
Cano came through with the clutch base hit Seattle has lacked. James Jones doubled with two outs in the sixth and Cano followed with a flare that landed inches fair down the left-field line to break a 2-all tie.
Seattle had been 2 for 35 with runners in scoring position prior to Cano’s double.
Samardzija is 1-1 with Oakland after going 2-7 for the Chicago Cubs.
Samardzija threw eight innings, allowing only five hits and striking out five.
Hernandez struck out nine and gave up six hits. He rebounded following a shaky first inning to stop the team with the best record in baseball.
Oakland scored a pair of rare first-inning runs off Seattle’s ace.
Stephen Vogt’s solo homer was just the sixth allowed by Hernandez this season, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Josh Donaldson followed with a double and scored on Jed Lowrie’s single that sneaked through the infield.
Hernandez had given up three first-inning runs all season.
But after Lowrie’s single, Hernandez permitted just four baserunners. He struck out the side in the fourth and sixth inning and needed just five pitches to cruise through the seventh.
Hernandez found himself in a jam in the fifth with runners on the corners and two outs, but Donaldson flied out.
After Vogt led off the eighth with a single, Donaldson grounded into a double play, drawing a fist pump and scream from Hernandez. He then got Brandon Moss to ground out on his 101st pitch to end the eighth and his night.
Seattle chipped away at Samardzija, starting with Logan Morrison’s homer leading off the second. Seattle pulled even in the third when Brad Miller doubled, advanced to third on Mike Zunino’s groundout and scored on Endy Chavez’s sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Hernandez won 10 games before the All-Star break in 2009 and 2013. … Oakland 1B Alberto Callaspo left the game in the second inning after straining his right hamstring running out a ground ball. … Oakland OF Coco Crisp was out of Friday’s lineup with a sore neck and Melvin unsure of his availability for the series.