Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Hernandez makes history at the plate

KING OF SWINGMariners pitcher Felix Hernandez hit a grand slam, then departed with a sprained ankle before he could qualify for a win in the 5-2 victory over the Mets

AFP , NEW YORK

The New York Mets’ Carlos Beltran slides safely into home, connecting with Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez during the fifth inning of their interleague game at Shea Stadium in New York on Monday. Hernandez left the game after being injured on the play.

PHOTO: AP

Felix Hernandez grabbed a slice of baseball history on Monday as he became the first American League pitcher in 37 years to hit a grand slam, but his celebration was short-lived.

Venezuela’s Hernandez became the first Seattle Mariners pitcher to smack a home run, but departed in the fifth inning of the Mariners’ 5-2 victory over the New York Mets with a sprained left ankle.

The Q marked the opener of a three-game interleague series between two teams that fired managers last week.

Hernandez had won his last four starts and was on his way to a fifth thanks to a grand slam off compatriot Johan Santana in the second inning.

It was the first grand slam by a pitcher in the AL since Steve Dunning of the Cleveland Indians belted one off Diego Segui of the Oakland Athletics on May 11, 1971.

The last grand slam by a pitcher also was at Shea Stadium, when Dontrelle Willis — then of the Florida Marlins — homered against the Mets’ Jose Lima on July 7, 2006.

But Hernandez’s night ended suddenly with two outs in the fifth when he threw a wild pitch and ran to cover home plate.

Carlos Beltran, who had reached on a leadoff double and stole third, slid into home and spiked Hernandez. After the incident Hernandez tried to throw a warm-up pitch but landed awkwardly and promptly was removed by Riggleman just one out short of a victory.

Hernandez, 22, allowed one run and two hits in four-and-two-third innings. Ryan Rowland-Smith, the second of four Seattle relievers, pitched two scoreless innings to get the win.

Diamondbacks 2, Red Sox 1

At Boston, Dan Haren allowed two hits over seven shutout innings and outpitched Josh Beckett in Arizona’s victory.

Arizona broke a scoreless game in the seventh on Chris Young’s RBI double and Chris Snyder’s run-producing groundout.

Tony Pena allowed J.D. Drew’s eighth-inning, bases-loaded sacrifice fly, but Manny Ramirez lined to third with two runners on to end the inning.

Haren (8-4) walked one and struck out five in winning his fifth consecutive start.

Boston’s Beckett (7-5) gave up two runs and five hits in eight innings, striking out eight.

Angels 3, Nationals 2

At Washington, Garret Anderson’s eighth-inning single drove in the go-ahead run for Los Angeles, which took advantage of two Washington errors.

John Lackey (5-1) allowed six hits and two runs — one earned — in eight innings, striking out six and walking one.

Willie Harris had a home run and a triple and scored both runs for Washington, which lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Royals 8, Rockies 4

At Kansas City, Missouri, Brian Bannister picked up his third straight victory and Mark Teahen hit a three-run homer as Kansas City won for the eighth time in nine games.

The Royals’ streak has all come against NL clubs, and their 10-3 record is the best in interleague play.

Bannister (7-6) gave up three hits and three runs, all unearned, while striking out five in seven innings.

Teahen has eight home runs, one more than last season, and his two-out shot highlighted a four-run first.

Jeff Francis (3-7) lasted just four-and-one-third innings, giving up seven runs and seven hits.

Jose Guillen homered, doubled and drove in two runs for the Royals.

AP, ATLANTA, Georgia

Milwaukee Brewers staff ace Ben Sheets gave up only four hits in a dominant complete-game performance and Mike Cameron hit a two-run home run to help beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 in the National League on Monday.

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