SEATTLE (AP) — Shane Victorino figured he was the guy who would have to step up against Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in the seventh inning Saturday night.
Victorino came through with a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning and finished a single shy of the cycle with a season-high four RBIs, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-1 victory over Hernandez and the Mariners.
Hernandez (6-6) lasted seven innings, allowing the three runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out five but it was Victorino who struck the biggest blow.
With the score tied at 1-all in the seventh, Ross Gload had a one-out single followed by a Domonic Brown double.
“Their pitching coach came out before (Jimmy Rollins) at-bat and I had the feeling he was telling him, mentally I thinking he’s probably telling him to pitch around him then put me up there,” Victorino said. “I’m more aggressive, I want to swing the bat. So I told myself just try to get a good pitch and put it in play.”
Indeed, Rollins walked and Victorino did put a ball in play — just barely. He sliced a ground-rule double that hit the left-field foul line, scoring the go-ahead runs.
“When I first hit it I thought it was going to be more fair than it landed,” he said. “Then running to first I thought, ‘Hold on, it’s bending too much.’ I was lucky enough that it landed on the line and got a double.
“When I got past first I looked at the umpire and where he was pointing. I tried to find where the ball was and it was in the stands,” Victorino added. “Our crowd (Phillies supporters) was cheering, so I knew.”
Then with two outs in the ninth, after Rollins’ third single, Victorino followed with his eighth home run into the right-field seats to make it 5-1. He tripled in the third.
Rookie Michael Stutes (1-0) earned his first career victory in his 23rd big league appearance. He went 1 2-3 innings, but left the seventh with two on and two outs.
Antonio Bastardo came in and struck out Adam Kennedy. Bastardo had a routine eighth then handed it off to Ryan Madson, who pitched the ninth.
The Phillies bullpen has not allowed a run in 15 2-3 innings, a span of seven games.
“It’s pretty cool that it (win) came so close to home,” said Stutes, who grew up in the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego. “I had a bunch of family and friends here to see it. It’s kind of a lucky thing. We happened to score runs when I’m in the game. But I’m not complaining about it.”
Dustin Ackley, who made his big league debut for the Mariners Friday, connected on his first home run in the second, a dozen rows into the right-field seats. It came on a 3-2 changeup from Vance Worley.
Rollins opened the game with a first-pitch single to right off Hernandez then moved to second on a wild pitch. Victorino followed with a walk. Chase Utley’s left-side grounder forced Victorino at second, with Rollins moving to third.
Rollins scored on Ryan Howard’s sacrifice fly to deep center.
Worley met with trouble with two outs in the first but escaped by inches. Kennedy singled then Justin Smoak doubled off the wall in left-center. The ball missed carrying out by fewer than six inches.
Third-base coach Jeff Datz, initially waving Kennedy around, put up the stop sign as he hit the bag. Kennedy and Smoak were left stranded when Miguel Olivo grounded out to first.
Hernandez has an American League-leading 108 strikeouts, three more than Detroit’s Justin Verlander.
Through the first five innings, Worley stayed with Hernandez, as each allowed one run on five hits at that point. But Worley worked harder for the same result. He departed after five innings and 96 pitches.
“Worley threw better than he has been. He battled and he pitched good,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “It was a good game. We beat a good pitcher. That definitely builds confidence, an aura, laughter. There’s a good feeling.”
NOTES: Manuel compared his top two starters with the Mariners’ aces: Phillies Cy Young winners Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay and the Mariners 2010 Cy Young winner Hernandez and rookie Michael Pineda. “They have more power, more explosive fastballs,” Manuel said of the Mariners duo, “but my guys have tremendous command with good stuff.” … Mariners 3B Chone Figgins rode the bench, with Kennedy starting at third. Manager Eric Wedge couched it as an opportunity to get Kennedy in the lineup rather than to get Figgins, hitting just .195 and being booed by his home team fans, out of it. “We want to get Adam in there,” Wedge said. “One way to get him in there is to play third base. That’s why he’s in there today.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)