Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Seattle leads 1-0 (as of 9/24)

Game 1: Thursday, September 24
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Toronto4
Game 2: Friday, September 25
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Toronto5
Game 3: Saturday, September 26
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in 10
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Game 4: Sunday, September 27
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Mariners 5

(80-73, 37-41 away)

Blue Jays 4

(69-84, 41-37 home)

    7:07 PM ET, September 24, 2009

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

    123456789 R H E
    SEA 012000020 5 13 1
    TOR 000003010 4 7 0

    W: F. Hernandez (17-5)

    L: J. Carlson (1-6)

    S: D. Aardsma (36)

    Hernandez in control as Mariners get sixth win in eight games  

    Associated Press

    TORONTO -- If Felix Hernandez had a Cy Young vote, he'd cast it for Kansas City's Zack Greinke. The batters who faced Hernandez on Thursday night might find it difficult to vote for anyone but the Seattle ace.

    Hernandez had a season-high 11 strikeouts, Josh Wilson hit a tiebreaking two-run triple in the eighth inning and the Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4.

    Why Felix Hernandez Won

    • Hernandez had a 71.3 strike percentage, his highest since May 24 (74.1).

    • He averaged 3.3 pitches per batter, his second fewest of the season (3.1).

    • His lowest average fastball of season (90.8 mph) still accounted for seven of 11 strikeouts.

    • The Blue Jays chased 46.2 percent of off-speed pitches outside the strike zone.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    "His stuff was unbelievable tonight," Toronto's Vernon Wells said of Hernandez. "He left a lot of guys shaking their heads, just trying to figure out what to do to put a ball in play."

    Hernandez (17-5) allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits in eight innings to improve to 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his last six starts. The right-hander, a candidate for the AL Cy Young Award, also moved to 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 18 road starts.

    "Felix was absolutely tremendous," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. "I thought the first couple of innings, that's as good of stuff as I've seen him have."

    Hernandez credited an on-form changeup for his high strikeout total.

    "The strikeouts, everything was changeups," Hernandez said. "It was unbelievable today. First time I've had a changeup like this."

    Hernandez, who has two starts remaining, said he's not thinking about his Cy Young candidacy. But he likes Greinke, who has won four straight decisions after losing five of six.

    "I'd vote for Greinke, he's doing a great job." Hernandez said. "He's tough, he's nasty."

    Wakamatsu wouldn't hesitate to vote for Hernandez.

    "I'd vote for Felix, without a doubt," Wakamatsu said. "I don't know if anybody has impacted the club this year greater than he has. You've got to remember, too, he's 23 years old."

    Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run homer for Seattle, which has won six of eight.

    Wilson gave the Mariners a 5-3 lead with a two-out triple to right off left-hander Jesse Carlson (1-6), scoring Adrian Beltre and Bill Hall.

    "That's a big two-out hit, especially at that time," Wakamatsu said. "I don't think you can have a more timely hit."

    Vernon Wells singled in a run in the bottom half but David Aardsma pitched around a leadoff walk for his 36th save in 40 chances, ending Toronto's five-game home winning streak.

    Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. The rookie has won just once in his last six starts.

    Ichiro Suzuki went 2 for 5 with a pair of singles for Seattle, keeping his average at .355. Suzuki is second in the AL batting race behind Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer.

    Matt Tuiasosopo hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning and Gutierrez connected for his 17th homer in the third to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead.

    Coming off a complete-game victory against the New York Yankees, Hernandez cruised through the first five innings, allowing just two hits, but he got into trouble when his defense let him down in the sixth.

    Leading off the inning, Aaron Hill reached second on third baseman Beltre's error. Adam Lind singled and Wells ripped the next pitch, a hanging slider, over the wall in left for a three-run homer, his 15th.

    Seattle designated hitter Mike Sweeney left with a bruised big toe after taking a pitch off his right foot in the second. Sweeney stayed in initially and ran the bases, eventually scoring on Tuiasosopo's fly ball to center.

    "I could hit, I just couldn't run," Sweeney said.

    Ken Griffey Jr. hit for Sweeney when his turn came up again in the third. Griffey walked in the ninth, the 1,300th walk of his career.

    Game notes


    Seattle 1B Russell Branyan (back) took batting practice for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 29. Branyan, who hit off a tee Wednesday, did not take grounders. ... The Blue Jays turned four double plays. ... Toronto RHP Dustin McGowan (shoulder) is throwing as far as 115 feet on flat ground and is expected to throw off the mound next week. "He's letting it fly," general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. ... Blue Jays minor league catchers J.P. Arencibia and Brian Jeroloman are injured and will not play in the Arizona Fall League. Arencibia recently underwent kidney surgery and Jeroloman needs hip surgery.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumRogers Centre, Toronto, ON
    Attendance15,306 (31.1% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:55
    Weather68 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind6 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Chris Guccione, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Tony Randazzo