The short-handed Milwaukee Brewers have received contributions from different sources on the way to their best consecutive offensive performances since late April.
They'll likely need a whole lot more against one of the best pitchers in the major leagues.
After putting up its best showing at the plate in nearly two months in a 10-5 victory in Friday's opener, NL Central-worst Milwaukee (51-66) matched that outburst with a 10-0 win Saturday to score double-digit runs in back-to-back contests for the first time since April 29-30.
Even though they've lost All-Star Ryan Braun (suspension) and fellow starter Rickie Weeks (hamstring) for the rest of the season, the resilient Brewers have averaged 5.7 runs while batting .328 with runners in scoring position in winning five of seven.
Rookie Scooter Gennett , who is filling in for Weeks at second base, delivered the big blow Saturday with a three-run home run off the glove of Seattle right fielder Michael Morse in the seventh inning."Us little guys need all the help we can get," said Gennett, who is 4 for 8 in this series.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy broke out of a 3-for-26 slump with four hits and is 7 for 17 (.412) in four career games against the Mariners (53-63).
Hernandez (11-5, 2.39 ERA), though, will try to prevent the Mariners from finishing their homestand 1-5.
Following a seven-start stretch in which he went 3-0 with a 1.41 ERA while striking out 54 in 51 innings, Hernandez will attempt to bounce back from his first loss since May 25. The All-Star right-hander, who ranks among the major league leaders in ERA and strikeouts, allowed six runs - three earned - and nine hits over five innings in a 7-2 loss to Toronto on Tuesday."He wasn't getting a whole lot off the corners. It was a pretty tight strike zone," said acting manager Robby Thompson after Hernandez matched his shortest start of the season. "When he missed, it was out over the plate and he was hit."
Although Hernandez endured a rare poor outing, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner was let down by his bullpen in his prior two starts after conceding only two runs while fanning 19 in 16 innings. He is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in three interleague starts this season and 15-7 with a 2.73 ERA for his career against the NL.
Yuniesky Betancourt , who hit a grand slam Friday, is 1 for 12 lifetime against his former teammate.
Right-hander Wily Peralta (8-11, 4.42) hopes to build on his last outing and continue an outstanding stretch by Milwaukee pitchers, who have a 1.92 ERA over the last seven games.
After allowing 12 runs and 12 hits over 8 2-3 innings in his last two starts, Peralta ended a three-start winless stretch by giving up one run and five hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-1 victory at San Francisco on Tuesday.
The Brewers have not swept a series of at least three games in Seattle since taking three straight from Sept. 8-10, 1989, when they were in the AL.
|August 08, 2013||Rickie Weeks||15-Day DL||Left hamstring surgery - out for season|
|August 02, 2013||Tom Gorzelanny||Day-to-Day||Left elbow contusion|
|July 31, 2013||Yovani Gallardo||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 30, 2013||Yovani Gallardo||Day-to-Day||Left hamstring tightness|
|July 27, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Right forearm tightness|
|July 23, 2013||Donovan Hand||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|July 26, 2013||Mike Zunino||15-Day DL||Fractured left hamate bone|
|July 11, 2013||Nick Franklin||Day-to-Day||Left game - knee soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
SEATTLE (AP) -- After eight innings, Felix Hernandez said he was done. The Milwaukee Brewers certainly had seen enough, too.
Hernandez left after pitching four-hit ball, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Brewers 2-0 Sunday.
Hernandez (12-5) struck out nine and walked one in his first career appearance against Milwaukee. The 2010 AL Cy Young winner leads the league with a 2.28 ERA and is second with 178 strikeouts.
This was the eighth time this year that he pitched at least eight innings. He was on track for his possible 10th career shutout, but a 20-pitch eighth inning pushed his pitch count to 108.
Acting Mariners manager Robby Thompson visited with Hernandez between innings and determined "he was at the end of his rope."
Said Hernandez: "I'm just being honest. I don't want to go out there, tired and lose the game."
Hernandez improved to 16-7 with a 2.63 in 30 career interleague starts, including 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA in four starts this season.
Danny Farquhar worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Wily Peralta (8-12) pitched a complete game and allowed four hits. He walked none and struck out four.
Justin Smoak hit a solo home run in the fifth, his 13th.
Hernandez allowed just one hit over his first five innings, a second-inning double by Juan Francisco . He was left stranded at third.
The Brewers had two hits in the sixth but still sent only three batters to the plate.
Martin Maldonado opened with a bunt single but was eliminated on a double play. Jean Segura then singled to deep short, but 41-year-old catcher Henry Blanco threw him out at second on steal attempt.
"He still throws them out," Hernandez said. "Unbelievable."
The Mariners, who lost the first two games in the series, ended a 12-inning scoreless streak with a gift run in the third.
Dustin Ackley opened with a double to left and moved to third on Brendan Ryan 's right-side groundout.
On a 1-0 pitch to Blanco, Peralta bounced a fastball in front of the plate. The wild pitch caromed off catcher Martin Maldonado 's shoulder and rolled several feet away. Ackley sprinted home for a 1-0 score.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke added that Hernandez "is one of the best pitchers in the game for the few years now."
"Wily was really good. Really should have given up one run," he said.
NOTES: Mariners manager Eric Wedge , who has missed 18 games recovering from his July 22 mild stroke, visited the team before the game. He said he hopes to manage again when the team returns for its next homestand Aug. 23. ... Acting manager Robby Thompson said Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma "jammed" his back Saturday against the Brewers. "I talked to him a little bit. He said he was fine. He should be good to go," Thompson said. ... The Brewers this weekend became the final Major League Baseball team to play a regular-season game at Safeco Field. Before Friday, the last time Milwaukee played a regular-season game in Seattle was Aug. 12, 1997, at the Kingdome. ... The Brewers' franchise actually began in Seattle. After one season as the expansion Seattle Pilots, the club moved to Milwaukee to play as the Brewers in 1970.