CHICAGO (AP) — Felix Hernandez was so excited to face Chris Sale he loaded up on caffeine before the game and briefly got dizzy.
King Felix needed the extra energy to beat the dominant White Sox ace.
Sale struck out 14 but got outpitched by Hernandez and the Seattle bullpen, and the Mariners ended a three-game skid Friday night by beating Chicago 3-1.
Hernandez (9-4) improved to 5-0 in eight starts since returning from the disabled list, throwing 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
But he said he was “scared” as he was attended to before the third inning.
“Everything went black. I couldn’t feel my legs and I was a little dizzy,” Hernandez said. “I had a few Red Bulls and that was probably what it was.”
Sale (15-7) gave up five hits and walked none in his fifth complete game of the season. He retired the final 16 batters, striking out 10 of them.
“I guess it looks good on paper but you want to come out on top in a game like that, no doubt,” Sale said.
“I think we definitely had a good matchup tonight. It’s what people came to see and the wrong team came out on top, it depends on who you ask, I guess. Sometimes you run into people like that,” he said.
Sale struck out six straight in the sixth and seventh innings, one shy of Joe Cowley’s team record.
Franklin Gutierrez hit a solo home run in the second and Adam Lind added an RBI double off in the fourth off Sale.
“Thank God we did it early because as everybody saw, when he gets on a roll it’s like lights out,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Sale. “He’s obviously one of the best pitchers in the league for a reason. We had no chance, really, after the fourth and fifth inning.”
Todd Frazier’s 32nd home run in the seventh was one of eight hits off Hernandez until he left with the bases loaded.
Edwin Diaz entered and earned a five-out save by getting some help.
Third baseman Shawn O’Malley, filling in for the injured Kyle Seager, threw home for a force play on Tim Anderson’s slow roller before Jose Abreu popped out.
Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save in as many tries.
“I got like four days off and I was a starter before,” Diaz said of the extra work with Seattle’s short bullpen. “I got the starter’s mentality sometimes.”
Hernandez, a six-time All-Star, entered leading the AL in ERA (2.95) since 2012. Sale, a five-time All-Star, was tops in that period in strikeouts (1,065).
Sale started for the AL in the All-Star Game this year after Hernandez did in 2015.
Gutierrez sent Sale’s 97 mph fastball into the seats in right-center in the second and the Mariners added another run on a double play in the third.
Nelson Cruz singled and scored on Lind’s double in the fourth.
The White Sox hit into two double plays and had two players picked off first, helping to waste Sale’s big night against Hernandez.
“You run into a guy like that, he’s special There’s no doubt about it,” Sale said. “I mean, his nickname’s the King. That doesn’t fall on too many people. You pick yourself up and move on.”
Mariners: Seager (foot) missed a third straight game, but said he was “definitely getting better” and was expected back Saturday. Servais said when Seager returns they’ll switch out a position player for a 12th pitcher. “We do need the extra arm,” Servais said. “You can’t carry what we’re carrying right now for too many days.”
White Sox: C Alex Avila (hamstring) was activated off the disabled list as C Dioner Navarro was traded to Toronto. . LF Melky Cabrera (sick) missed a second straight game. “It looks like he’ll be fine for tomorrow,” manager Robin Ventura said.
The Mariners conducted a pregame contest where three players used a sling shot to launch a water balloon across the outfield as another player attempted to catch it without it bursting. It’s part of the “M’s Olympics” that includes medals and a victory stand.
“I thought the emotional outburst from Adam Lind was tremendous,” Servais said.
Chicago’s Jose Quintana (10-9), holder of the AL’s third-best ERA at 2.84, faces fellow LHP Ariel Miranda (1-0, 5.49) on Saturday night.
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