King Felix Wins 18th, 9-2 for M’s Over AL West Leader Texas

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Felix Hernandez became the American League's first 18-game winner, Robinson Cano drove in four runs and the Seattle Mariners beat the AL West-leading Texas Rangers 9-2 on Sunday.

Texas' division lead was trimmed to 1 1-2 games over second-place Houston. The Rangers finished a 7-3 homestand that included a four-game sweep of the Astros.

Hernandez (18-9) gave up two runs, struck out five and matched a season high with five walks in 5 2-3 innings before leaving after 105 pitches with a stiff right elbow, a move the Mariners called precautionary. He is expected to take his next turn as scheduled at the Los Angeles Angels next weekend, when he could match a career best with a 19th victory.

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King Felix is 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA against Texas this year, only the fifth pitcher since 1972 to beat the Rangers  five times in the same season. He is the first to accomplish the feat since Bartolo Colon was 6-0 for the Angels against Texas in 2004.

Cano's 17th home run, a three-run drive in the fifth, put the Mariners up 7-2 and chased Derek Holland (3-3). That came two batters after Kyle Seager's tiebreaking two-run double.

Holland allowed 12 runners in 4 1-3 innings, giving up seven runs and five walks (one intentional) while benefiting from three double plays. The left-hander has given up at least five runs in each of his last three starts.

Franklin Gutierrez followed Cano with his 15th homer, connecting off Ross Ohlendorf.

Seager, who had three hits, is batting .353 (57 of 165) in 43 games at the Rangers' ballpark, the highest average for any opposing player with at least 150 at-bats.

Mitch Moreland hit his 22nd homer for Texas, a one-out solo shot to center in the second. Elvis Andrus had a bloop RBI single against a drawn-in infield after Rougned Odor's one-out triple in the fourth.

Shin-Soo Choo walked twice and reached base in 18 of his last 24 plate appearances. He went 12 of 18 with five walks and a hit by pitch in that span.


Mariners: Stefen Romero became the eighth Seattle player to start in center this season. McClendon said Gutierrez, who has started 450 major league games in center, wasn't an option to shift from left because of his health. "He can't run like he used to. There's no way," McClendon said. Gutierrez missed last season and started this season in the minors treating a condition that causes vertebrae to fuse together.

Rangers: CF Delino DeShields was out of the lineup a day after leaving Saturday's game with a bruised left knee. Manager Jeff Banister said it was a previously planned day off, and DeShields said he was fine.


Mariners: Seattle travels to Kansas City, where the team will have an off day Monday before three games against the Royals.

Rangers: Texas has its last scheduled off day of the regular season Monday, then starts a three-game series Tuesday in Oakland.

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