Blue Jays rack up 15 hits in Hernandez's worst start of season for M's

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez has stepped up repeatedly when the Seattle Mariners needed a good start to stay on track this season.

He just couldn't do it Monday night.

Marco Scutaro matched his career high with four hits and the Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of Hernandez's worst start of the year, handing the sliding Mariners their fourth straight loss with an 11-4 victory.

Counted on to stop any Seattle skids, Hernandez (11-4) allowed seven runs -- tying a career worst -- and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He had won a career-best seven consecutive decisions and was 10-2 with a 1.94 ERA following a Mariners loss this season.

"He's been so good this year and been a savior a lot of times," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said.

Lyle Overbay and Rod Barajas homered for the Blue Jays, who finished with 15 hits. Ricky Romero (9-4) pitched six innings for his sixth win in seven decisions.

Since returning home last Friday a season-high seven games over .500, the Mariners have been outscored 42-10 by Cleveland and Toronto.

"It's just been different the last four days," Hernandez said.

Seattle remained 7 1/2 games back of the AL West-leading Angels and fell 7 1/2 behind wild card-leading Boston. The widening gap could lead to some changes before Friday's non-waiver trade deadline.

Hernandez gave up seven runs for the fifth time and first since Sept. 9, 2007, at Detroit. The 11 hits matched a season high, last surrendered in his previous loss May 24 against the Angels.

"I just try and go out and pitch my game and I can't do it," Hernandez said. "I was all over the place."

The Mariners and Blue Jays both could be playing without a key starting pitcher by the end of the week. Toronto ace Roy Halladay is on the market and Seattle's Jarrod Washburn would be an attractive option for contenders if Monday's loss pushes the Mariners to make some moves.

Friday is the non-waiver trade deadline.

"To move that kind of player you have to have that blockbuster deal and it doesn't look like anybody wants to give that blockbuster deal," Overbay said of Halladay. "I don't see him leaving just quite yet."

The Mariners provided Hernandez with a 4-3 lead entering the sixth inning, but the hard-throwing right-hander gave up four runs and five hits in the frame, all with two outs.

After retiring Adam Lind and Scott Rolen to start the inning, Vernon Wells singled, Overbay walked and Alex Rios hit an RBI single into left field. Barajas followed with a slow dribbler past the diving glove of third baseman Jack Hannahan for an infield single to score Overbay.

Joe Inglett pulled a grounder into right field to drive in another run, and Scutaro capped the rally with a chopper into left that Hannahan couldn't handle. Hernandez was finally pulled after throwing 103 pitches and striking out only two.

"We just wanted to take advantage of his mistakes," Barajas said. "It doesn't matter how good you are, you're going to make mistakes and that is the only way you can get to him."

Romero gave up 10 singles to a Seattle offense missing Russell Branyan and Jose Lopez, both out with sore backs. But Romero didn't allow any big innings, yielding four runs.

Chris Shelton drove in two for Seattle and Ichiro Suzuki had three hits to raise his season average to .362.

Game notes
Scutaro just missed a new career high for hits, flying out to the warning track in center in the eighth. ... Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said RHP Scott Richmond, on the disabled list since July 5, will get the start on Friday against the Angels. Richmond is 6-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 13 starts this season. ... Suzuki has a hit in 19 consecutive home games.