Avery's single caps six-run eighth as Mariners rally
Hernandez allows four runs and four hits in 2 1/3 innings in rocky outing
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Rangers touched Mariners ace Felix Hernandez for four earned runs Sunday, but Seattle rallied for a 9-8 victory over Texas at Peoria Stadium in a battle of AL West rivals.
The Mariners rallied for six runs in the bottom of the eighth to overtake the Rangers, with a Mike Dowd ground-rule double, a Cole Gillespie triple and a Chris Taylor double tying the game. The Mariners took the lead when Xavier Avery lined a single off the body of pitcher Cory Burns.
Outfielder Michael Choice belted a solo homer and scored three runs while catcher Robinson Chirinos had four hits and three RBIs for Texas. Veteran infielder Willie Bloomquist went 3-for-3 for Seattle.
In his second outing of the spring, Hernandez allowed those four earned runs on four hits while striking out four and walking one in 2 1/3 innings. Rangers starter Colby Lewis allowed just one hit and one walk in his two innings of work as Texas lost for ninth time in 11 Cactus League contests.
Hernandez walked his first batter of the day but got out of the first unscathed. The second inning didn't work out quite so well for Hernandez, as Jim Adduci reached on an infield single, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Mike Zunino. Chirinos then carved a ground-rule double past the right-field foul pole to drive home the first run of the game.
After recording the first out of the third, Hernandez allowed a single by Elvis Andrus that eluded right fielder Corey Hart before Prince Fielder's double to left-center brought Andrus sliding home safely around Zunino's tag. After Lucas Luetge relieved Hernandez (48 pitches), Adam Rosales knocked home the last two runs charged to Hernandez.
The Mariners got on the board in the third with a trio of singles, Kyle Seager's shot to right-center driving home Brad Miller. They scored two more in the fourth on an RBI double by Logan Morrison and a sacrifice fly by Michael Saunders, but the Rangers got those two runs right back when Chirinos dropped a bloop single into right field in the fifth. Choice's homer in the sixth made it a five-run lead.
Up Next: The Mariners have a day-night doubleheader of split-squad games Monday, and they're hoping to get star second baseman Robinson Cano in one of them. Cano missed his fifth straight game Sunday after a root canal Wednesday. In Monday's 1:05 p.m. PT game at Peoria vs. the Royals, Brandon Maurer will make his second appearance of the spring, meeting James Shields. The night game at the D-backs will feature lefty James Paxton on the mound in a 7:10 p.m. PT start.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.