ARLINGTON, Texas(AP) Ken Griffey Jr. was drafted by the
less than a year after Texas starter
On Saturday night, Griffey added the rookie to the long list of pitchers he's homered against.
Griffey hit his 622nd career home run and
pitched seven solid innings to lead the Mariners to a 7-2 win over the
Griffey's three-run shot in the first came off Hunter, the 400th different pitcher he has homered off in his career.
''This is as good as I've seen him in awhile,'' Mariners manager
said of Griffey. ''He was standing in that box with a lot of confidence.''
Griffey went 3 for 5 for his third three-hit game of the season.
Hunter was born 11 months before Griffey was the top overall pick in the 1987 amateur draft.
''I was fortunate enough to get some hits,'' Griffey said. ''You've got to keep working at it. Everybody thinks that I just
Hernandez (12-4) bounced back from his worst effort of the season to win for the fourth time in five starts. The right-hander
gave up two runs and six hits as Seattle won for the third time in nine games.
Hernandez said he was fortunate to come out on top against a Rangers team that he has a 6-9 lifetime record against.
''I was disappointed in my performance,'' said Hernandez, who walked four and struck out two. ''We still won, but I was terrible,
I was all over the place.''
The Mariners will have to lean on Hernandez after they traded
on Friday and placed
on the disabled list earlier in the week.
''That shows what kind of champion this guy can be,'' Wakamatsu said. ''You're going through these stretches where find other
ways to win even when you don't have your electric fastball.''
Texas is four games behind the
Los Angeles Angels
in the American League West and trails Boston by 2 1/2 games in the Wild Card chase.
''They swung the bats the well,'' Rangers manager
said. ''They just beat us tonight.''
reached on an error leading off the game and
walked to set the stage for Griffey.
He lined a 3-2 pitch from Hunter into the grassy area beyond the center field fence. It was Griffey's 11th homer and his first
since July 1.
''He took a couple of good pitches,'' said Hunter. ''I left one out over the plate and he hit it over the fence.''
Griffey doubled leading off the third and scored on
's RBI single. The Mariners extended their lead to 5-0 on
' triple to right.
Hunter (3-2) came into the game having gone 3-0 with a 1.11 in his last four outings. The rookie allowed five runs and eight
hits in five innings to lose for the first time since June 28.
''Tommy just didn't have his location tonight,'' Washington said.
Cruz had three hits and smacked a 458-foot solo home run to left in the fourth inning, the fourth-longest ever hit at Rangers
Ballpark in Arlington. He also added an RBI single in the sixth.
Lopez had three hits and two RBIs, including a solo homer in the eighth that made it 7-2.
Hernandez, who allowed a season-high seven runs in 5 2-3 innings Monday against Toronto, received some defensive help in protecting
In the bottom of the first, Suzuki threw out
trying to score on
's fly ball. Catcher
stretched high to grab Suzuki's throw from right and quickly dropped to the ground to tag Vizquel.
Langerhans jumped at the left field wall to take an extra-base hit from
in the third.
NOTES: Washington said after the game that right-hander
will start Monday in Oakland. Washington said before the game there was a chance that
, who hasn't pitched since leaving July 26 with a strained gluteus muscle, would make that start. ... The Mariners activated
on Saturday and will start the left-hander on Wednesday night at Kansas City. To make room for French, the team designated