Seattle Mariners

Mariners recap: Roenis Elias gives up grand slam; Felix Hernandez dominant but takes loss



THE FACTS: After a clean effort Wednesday night in a 3-2 victory over the Cubs, the Mariners made as quick turnaround Thursday, split their squad and lost two games.

The loss to Kansas City had a familiar feel. Felix Hernandez was dominant — one run in six innings — and departed trailing, 1-0. The Royals added two more runs in the eighth against Danny Farquhar.

Roenis Elias’ flickering rotation hopes took a major hit when he started the game against Milwaukee in Maryvale by giving up two singles, a walk and a grand slam to Khris Davis. It never got better.

The two losses dropped the Mariners to 10-12-2 with eight games remaining.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Hernandez gave up his only run after bouncing a swinging strike to ex-Mariner Casey Kotchman in the third inning after Christian Colon led off with a double to left.

The ball got past catcher Mike Zunino for a wild pitch. The Royals turned that miscue into a run when, after Kotchman struck out, Jarrod Dyson sent a sacrifice fly to center.

PLUS: Hernandez was in top form. He gave up two hits in six innings, walked none and struck out four. Manager Lloyd McClendon said, “It was a very good outing and one that I was anxious to see. It was very pleasing to the eye.”… Third baseman Kyle Seager, playing in Peoria, made a short-hop pickup on Paulo Orlando’s leadoff grounder in the fifth inning look routine.

MINUS: The Mariners managed two hits in 52/3 innings against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie. … Tom Wilhelmsen gave up two more runs in his only inning against the Brewers. He has allowed six runs and nine hits in his past 41/3 innings. … Farquhar gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. McClendon said: “He stinks in spring. If he had to make a club in the spring, he’d never make it. You’ve got to know your personnel. … I suspect he will be just fine. His track record says that he will be.”

JOB BATTLES: Elias gave up six runs on eight hits and three walks in three innings against the Brewers. … Former Gonzaga star Tyler Olson retired the only hitter he faced, Kansas City’s Alex Gordon in a lefty-on-lefty matchup. Olson has not allowed an earned run in 8 2/3 innings over eight appearances. … Another lefty bullpen candidate, Joe Saunders, gave up two runs in his only inning against the Brewers.

QUOTABLE: “My fastball was good,” Hernandez said. “When my fastball is good, everything is better.”

EXTRA INNINGS: Some over/unders from online gaming site Robinson Cano’s batting average at .309; Nelson Cruz’s homers at 271/2; Austin Jackson’s steals at 191/2; Hernandez’s ERA at 2.69; Hisashi Iwakuma’s victories at 12; and Fernando Rodney’s saves at 351/2.

UP NEXT: The Mariners, with a full squad available, play the Royals again Friday — this time at 6:05 p.m. in Surprise.

Plans call for lefty James Paxton to start against right-hander Yordano Ventura, who is scheduled to start for Kansas City in its season opener.