Felix Hernandez threw a five-hitter and MichaelSaunders backed the right-hander with a hit a three-run homer togive the Seattle Mariners a 5-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds onSaturday night.
The Mariners won their third consecutive game and shut down theReds for a second straight night.
The Reds lost for the fifth time in six games and dropped 1½games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central.
Hernandez (5-5) won his second consecutive start. He struck outnine and walked one in his second complete game of the season andninth of his career. The Mariners beat the Reds 1-0 on a six-hitterby Cliff Lee on Friday.
The Mariners have not had back-to-back complete-game victories sinceJuly 14-15, 1996 with Bob Wells and Bob Wolcott.
Saunders hit a three-run homer to right in the sixth off starterSam LeCure (1-4) to give the Mariners a 5-1 lead after RobJohnson's sacrifice fly broke a 1-1 tie.
LeCure gave up eight hits and five runs in six innings. Hestruck out four and walked one.
Jonny Gomes hit an RBI single for the Reds in the fourth to tieit at 1-1.
Ichiro Suzuki hit a solo homer to right in the third to put theMariners up 1-0.
The Reds stranded Drew Stubbs on third in the fifth when OrlandoCabrera flied out to right-center field. Stubbs reached third on asingle, stolen base and throwing error by Johnson, the catcher.
Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez took an extra-base hitaway from Votto in the first when he caught a fly just below thetop of the wall.
Hernandez threw his second straight strong outing. He gave upfour hits, struck out nine and walked one in 8 2/3 innings in a 4-2win at San Diego June 13.
NOTES: Catcher Ramon Hernandez returned to the Reds startinglineup after he missed Friday's game with a lower back pain. ...Seattle P Doug Fister is expected to start Friday or Saturday atMilwaukee after missing three starts with a fatigued shoulder. Hewill throw Sunday for the Tacoma Rainiers in Triple-A. ... Redsreliever Arthur Rhodes, a former Mariners pitcher, pitched oneinning in the 1-0 loss Friday to extend his scoreless streak to 28innings, longest by a reliever in the majors this season.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times