OAKLAND, Calif. — If the Mariners can get into the AL wild-card game against Jon Lester and the Athletics, they'll be plenty confident with King Felix on the mound.
Kyle Seager and Corey Hart homered leading off the seventh inning to back Felix Hernandez's stellar start, and Seattle rallied to beat Oakland 2-1 on Wednesday to win the three-game series between playoff contenders.
"I think we match up well," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We've got a few bullets to throw at them that toe the rubber. We like our chances."
McClendon and the Mariners were in a light-hearted mood after the victory.
The manager, whose much-maligned move to push his ace back a day led to Hernandez's worst outing of the season Friday against the Nationals, pointed out that Hernandez looked well rested by referencing a profanity-laced quote from former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight.
McClendon could crack jokes mostly because of the homers that erased an otherwise brilliant performance by Lester.
Adam Dunn's homer in the fourth accounted for the only run Hernandez allowed in eight innings. The right-hander outdueled Lester in a matchup of two of the AL's best pitchers.
"It was special," said Hernandez, adding that he promised his wife a win for her birthday. "We came here to win the series and that's what we did."