SEATTLE (Reuters) - The New York Yankees conquered “King Felix” Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners in a 9-3 triumph to pad out their ever-increasing division lead on Monday.
Busting loose with a five-run fourth inning that included two home runs, New York’s offense battered Hernandez for six runs in six innings in a rare win against the reigning Cy Young Award winner.
“He’s a great pitcher and we put up some good runs off him. You don’t see that very often,” New York’s Nick Swisher told reporters.
“You’ve got to give credit where credit’s due and our guys did a great job tonight.”
Hernandez (14-12) had gone 5-0 in his last six starts against the Yankees, and had not lost to them since 2008, but the Bronx Bombers finally nailed him to move closer to a division title.
The Yankees (89-57) now lead the American League East by four games over the struggling Boston Red Sox who were idle Monday.
Pitcher Phil Hughes did his part to keep New York’s momentum by tossing six innings and allowing just one run in the win.
Hughes displayed great chemistry with rookie catcher Austin Romine, who was making his first Major League start behind the plate.
“He’s really good back there,” Hughes said. “I’ve had him a couple times already and he’s very advanced behind the plate. He calls a good game, gives a real good target.”
Robinson Cano went 3-for-5 with a three-RBI double in the seventh to put the Yankees well in front 9-1.
Mark Teixeira belted his 37th home run of the season in the fourth where Chris Dickerson also homered.
The Mariners (61-86), who are last in the AL West, have lost nine of their last 12 games.
Seattle’s Miguel Olivo had two hits and delivered a two-run blast in the eighth to cap the scoring.
Reporting by Jahmal Corner in LA. Editing by Alastair Himmer