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Felix Hernandez Blanks Indians, 3-0

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Russell Branyan homered and drove in two runs to back eight scoreless innings by Felix Hernandez, as Seattle topped Cleveland, 3-0, in the last of four between the clubs from Safeco Field.

Hernandez (11-10) scattered four hits and struck out nine with one walk to win his third straight decision. The 24-year-old right-hander has given up just one earned run in the last 45 innings over his last six starts for an 0.20 earned-run average.

Michael Saunders knocked in the other run for the Mariners, who earned a split in the series.

Jeanmar Gomez (3-3) allowed seven hits and two runs over six full frames in defeat for the Indians, who have lost six of eight.

Seattle gave Hernandez all the run support he needed in the second, when Casey Kotchman singled, moved up on a groundout, went to third on an Adam Moore hit and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder from Saunders.

Hernandez enjoyed calm innings in the second and fourth, but worked out of a first-and-second jam in the third by fanning Asdrubal Cabrera, stranded a runner on third in the sixth by striking out Travis Hafner, and got out of trouble in the eighth when he induced an inning-ending double-play liner from Hafner.

Branyan led off the sixth with his 23rd homer of the season, and stretched the Mariners’ lead to 3-0 in the eighth with an RBI double to plate Chone Figgins, who reached on a fielding error by Jayson Nix.

David Aardsma set down the Tribe in order in the ninth for his 28th save.

Hernandez has also won four of his last five decisions since August 10…Seattle won four of the seven meetings in 2010.