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Kiké Hernández single-handedly defeats Mariners, Mariners fans surprisingly chill about it

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Kiké, we do love you

Japan v MLB All Stars - Game 5 Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

Today the Mariners lost to the Dodgers, although really the lone offense of this game came from Kiké Hernández’s two home runs, and really, we’re okay with that because

If you have to get beaten by the Dodgers, to put it on Kiké’s charming shoulders at least softens the blow.

This was the first we’ve seen of Erik Swanson on TV, who started the game by missing with a slider right in Kiké’s kitchen, who redirected the ball to left field. Swanson rebounded to strike out Cody Bellinger looking, got ahead of David Freese for an easy flyout, and then polished off the inning with this strikeout of Dodgers top prospect Alex Verdugo:

Swanson went 1-2-3 the next inning as well, with two flyouts from former Mariner Brad Miller and Edwin Rios and another strikeout. Swanson worked his high fastball up in the zone while mixing in his slider. In the third, Swanson got two quick outs with another strikeout from Kyle Garlick, and then up came Kike again. After getting ahead of Hernandez 0-2, Swanson decided to try the slider on him again. It...did not go great.

That was enough for Servais, who executed a quick hook on Swanson and sent in lefty Zac Rosscup to strike out Cody Bellinger to end the inning. Rosscup worked the next inning as well, and also retired his former teammates 1-2-3, thanks in part to some nifty glovework from Tim Beckham and Alex Verdugo’s leaden feet.

At one point, everyone not named Kiké was 0-for-20. Kenta Maeda wasn’t particularly sharp but neither were the Mariners batters, again, who were utterly baffled by Maeda’s changeup and went down 1-2-3 with 4 Ks over the first three innings. Kenley Jansen took the honor of sending them down 1-2-3 in the fourth. In the fifth, Domingo Santana became the first non-Kiké-baserunner of the game with a fisted double down the right field line off Yimi Garcia. The Mariners’ sleepy offense wasn’t able to bring him home, though, with Healy, Fraley, and Beckham all making outs.

Roenis Elías gave up a leadoff single to old frenemy Brad Miller in the fifth but struck out the next batter and then got a double play ball to end the inning. He returned for the sixth and again went scoreless thanks to a little help from new center fielder Jarred Kelenic:

Kelenic had a few balls come his way, although none other quite as dramatic as that, and showed some good comfort with the Arizona sky—something I noticed him struggling with a little yesterday in the bright Peoria sunshine. He also worked a walk off Dodgers prospect Parker Curry, who had a dominant showing at High-A last season, with a K/9 of 11.55 and a BB/9 of just 2.92. Fellow prospect Julio Rodriguez didn’t fare as well in his two at-bats, striking out on three pitches from Josh Sborz, who struck out almost 30% of batters he faced at Triple-A last year, and then striking out against Parker Curry to end the game with the tying run aboard. It’s painful but these are the kinds of at-bats that Julio needs as he gets accustomed to non-DSL pitching. Julio, Jarred, and the other youngsters will all have plenty more chances to get their feet wet against much more seasoned competition as the big leaguers leave for Japan next week. The Mariners are back in action tomorrow with a split squad: one at home against Cleveland that’s being televised and one at Tempe Diablo stadium against the Angels that will probably feature more prospects and backups. Only the Cleveland game will be televised, and it’s on at 1 PM on ROOT.