SEATTLE (AP) — The season with so much expectation for the Seattle Mariners found a new low on Wednesday.
Sitting a season-worst 10 games below .500 as the trade deadline approached was not where the Mariners expected to find themselves in late July.
“Where do I see my team? We got our butts kicked in this series,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We’ve got to regroup and go on the road and start winning games tomorrow.”
Felix Hernandez gave up a pair of home runs to Welington Castillo, including a two-run shot in the first inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Mariners 8-2 to complete a three-game sweep.
It was the fourth time this season Seattle was swept and came largely at the hands of Castillo, who was on the Mariners roster for a brief time earlier in the season before being traded to the Diamondbacks.
Castillo hit a two-run homer off Hernandez (12-6) as part of Arizona’s four-run first inning, then added a solo shot leading off the fourth inning. He became just the sixth player to homer twice in the same game off Hernandez.
Castillo homered three times in the series.
“He’s a really good pitcher. He’s one of the best,” Castillo said. “I think I was guessing right.”
Arizona was aggressive against Hernandez early in the count and it paid off in the first inning with Ender Inciarte leading off with a single and A.J. Pollock following with a double. Paul Goldschmidt added a two-run single before the first of Castillo’s home runs. It was just the sixth time in 324 career starts Hernandez allowed four or more runs in the first inning, including giving up eight runs in the first to Houston earlier this season.
“I think they knew that coming out I throw a lot of strikes and they just got to swing,” Hernandez said. “If you make a mistake, you are going to get hit.”
Arizona finished with 12 hits off Hernandez, a season-high allowed and most since 2013 against the Angels. David Peralta capped the Diamondbacks big day with a two-run triple in the seventh on a deep fly ball to right-center field that likely should have been caught.
The seven earned runs were the most allowed by Hernandez since giving up eight runs and failing to make it out of the first inning against Houston on June 12. In the seven starts since that game in Houston, Hernandez had allowed eight earned runs total.
“Early on the command was off. He actually settled down in the middle innings, starting throwing the ball pretty decent, then he elevated again late,” McClendon said. “Against an aggressive club you have to make quality pitches. We just didn’t do that the last few days.”
Patrick Corbin (2-3) allowed just one run and three hits in six innings, winning for the first time since his season debut on July 4 as he continues to come back from Tommy John surgery.
Corbin struck out six and rolled through Seattle’s lineup. Brad Miller’s two-out RBI single in the fourth was the only damage against the left-hander, who needed just 80 pitches to get through six innings.
“They came out and beat us into the ground pretty good,” Miller said. “It was not good at all.”
Diamondbacks: Right-handed reliever Randall Delgado was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle. Delgado was hurt working out before Tuesday’s game. Addison reed was recalled from Triple-A Reno.
Mariners: Robinson Cano was out with an abdominal strain. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain, but Cano was traveling with the team on its road trip. McClendon said they hope Cano can step in at designated hitter in a few days. Cano was injured making a play in the field in Monday’s game against Arizona and played through the discomfort on Tuesday.
Diamondbacks: Arizona continues interleague play with three games at Houston. Rubby De La Rosa (8-5) gets the start in the opener. He’s given up just one earned run in his last 15 innings.
Mariners: Seattle opens a key four-game series with wild card leading Minnesota on Thursday. J.A. Happ (4-5), who lasted just 1 2-3 innings in his last start, takes the mound for the Mariners.
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