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Offense backs Hernandez's dominant night, Mariners jump to ten games over .500

8/20 vs MIL by TOM HAYDEN

66-56, 6.0 GB in AL WEST ----

Dominant. A great word to describe Felix last night as he was able to pick up his eighth win of the season, and help the M's jump to 10 games over .500. Offense backed him up with a couple of homers, as well as impressive performances from Mike Zunino and Nori Aoki. Listen to this: our Seattle Mariners are now just 1 game behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Wild Card race. With a win on Sunday vs MIL, and a BAL loss, the Mariners will no longer be chasing a wild card spot, they will be sitting comfortably in that spot. The M's have now won 8 straight games at the Safe, and have a record of 14-5 in August. Their record of 21-12 since the All-Star break is the best in the American League. These are all facts, and they speak volumes. Wth this big win on Saturday night, our Mariners now sit a W-L record of 66-56 on the season, 6.0 games in back of the first place Texas Rangers in the American League Western division standings. For a wild card spot, the M's are only a single game out of that second spot. The Baltimore Orioles, as I said earlier, currently stand in that second Wild Card spot. 

Offensively on Saturday night, the Mariners combined to put up an impressive 8 runs on 12 hits in the big 8-2 win over Milwaukee. The Mariners did damage on MIL RHP Wily Peralta (now 5-9, 6.00 ERA), RHP Blaine Boyer, and RHP Rob Scahill. LF Norichika (.265 AVG) had himself a NIGHT, and got offense a goin' for the Mariners in this one. Aoki went 3-for-5 with a single and 2 doubles! Both of his doubles were for an RBI each, as well. With the 2 RBI, Aoki now has a total of 16 on the season. With the 2 double night at the dish, Nori now has 16 doubles total this season. 2B Robinson Canó (.293 AVG), DH Nelson Cruz (.285 AVG), and 3B Kyle Seager (.288 AVG) each had a base hit and scored a run for Seattle this one. Cruz and Canó's hits both came via double (Cruz now has 20 doubles, Canó now has 26). 1B Adam Lind (.235 AVG) connected for a ground-rule double in the bottom of the eighth inning for his 12th double of the season. Lind drove in a run for the Mariners with the base hit and now has a total of 49 RBI on the season so far. The M's gained on their lead over the Brew Crew in the bottom of the seventh inning when C Mike Zunino (.282 AVG) and CF Leonys Martin (.243 AVG) went BACK-to-BACK each launching solo homers off of MIL RHP Wily Peralta. The Mariners have homered more than once in now 3 straight games. Zunino now has 8 homers on the season, while Leonys Martin now has 14! Martin went 1-for-3 on the night with the homer and now has 38 RBI on the season. For Mike Z, he wasn't done after the homer for he launched his 5th double of the season an inning later to drive in a pair of runs for the Mariners. With the 2-RBI double, and a 3-RBI night , in all, Mike now has total of 18 RBI on the season in just 25 games played. SS Ketel Marte (.260 AVG) also contributed with a 2-hit night on Saturday, going 2-for-4 at the dish. 

On the mound on Saturday night, Felix Hernandez was simply dominant. Going 8.0 innings strong, the King earned himself his 8th win on the season so far for Seattle. Hernandez's command was there on Saturday night too, something that was lost for a little bit after he came off of the 15-day disabled list earlier this season. In his 8.0 innings pitched, Felix gave up only 2 runs on 7 hits (both runs earned) while walking just 1 and striking out 2 Brewers. Hernandez now has a W-L record of 8-4 on the season with a solid ERA of 3.26. In relief on Saturday night was RHP Steve Cishek (3.33 ERA), that's right, Steve Cishek, who was recalled off of the 15-day DL recently. Cishek made his first appearance since August the 1st vs BOS, where he blew a save and unfortunately suffered a loss. On Saturday, it was a different story, however, as he was able to take care of business in the 1.0 ninth inning of his outing. Cishek struck out 2 Brewers and gave up nothing else. 

WHAT'S NEXT? :

Our Seattle Mariners, who are now 10 games over the .500 mark will look to take care of this 3-game weekend series with Milwaukee as we get ready to play some series finale baseball on Sunday afternoon at the Safe. With a win, the M's will have won 9 straight games at home, and will have accomplished sweeping the Brewers for #StarWarsWeekend! Looking to help get this done will be LHP Ariel Miranda (1-0, 5.29 ERA), who will be making the 5th appearance of his career in this one. Miranda and the M's are set and ready to take on MIL RHP Matt Garza (4-5, 4.86 ERA). Be sure to catch this one on ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle for listening at 1:10 PM PAC, 4:10 PM ET time!

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M's #KeepFighting. 

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