The first session in the reconvened King’s Court didn’t start well Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field. Felix Hernandez gave up a three-run homer in a testy first inning in his first start since May 27.
It ended in another walk-off victory.
Leonys Martin’s one-out drive in the 11th inning against Dan Jennings lifted the Mariners to a 6-5 victory over the White Sox.
“I knew it was going to go out,” Martin crowed. “You just have to trust your power, man. But with two strikes, I was just trying to get on base.”
It was Martin’s second homer of the game, his second walk-off homer of the season — and the Mariners’ sixth walk-off homer of the season, which ties a franchise record.
“That’s amazing,” Martin said. “It was a great comeback today, and we never gave up. We battled every single pitch.”
The victory enabled Mariners to salvage a 3-3 split in their homestand and climb back over .500 at 48-47. Vidal Nuno (1-1) got the victory after pitching a scoreless 11th inning.
Jennings (3-2) was the loser.
The Mariners won the series opener Monday when Adam Lind capped a four-run ninth inning with a three-run homer against White Sox closer David Robertson after managing only one hit against Chris Sale in eight innings.
On Wednesday, the Mariners trailed 5-2 when Chicago went to its bullpen after Miguel Gonzalez started the seventh inning by walking Lind.
The game turned.
Mike Zunino’s one-out homer against Zach Duke closed the gap to 5-4. The Mariners then loaded the bases with one out, but Duke escaped when Robinson Cano grounded into a double play.
The Mariners pulled even when Lind sliced a two-out homer in the eighth inning against Nate Jones.
Steve Cishek then worked around a two-on, two-out jam in the Chicago ninth inning by striking out Todd Frazier, who earlier hit a three-run homer against Hernandez in the first inning.
The Mariners nearly won the game in the 10th inning when Kyle Seager grounded a two-out double up the right-field line with Nelson Cruz at first base.
Cruz tried to come all the way around, but Adam Eaton made a strong throw to the plate for the out. That merely delayed the drama for another walk-off homer.
Hernandez was making his first start since May 27. There were no problems with his once-strained right calf muscle. But it wasn’t a smooth outing.
Hernandez opened the game by striking out Adam Eaton before giving up a bloop double to Melky Cabrera. After retiring Jose Abreu on a grounder to third, Hernandez jumped ahead 0-2 on Justin Morneau.
Hernandez then missed with four pitches, including a couple of borderline calls. He even began walking toward the dugout at one point and, after missing on a close 3-2 pitch, began barking at umpire Andy Fletcher.
“You know what happened,” Hernandez said. “You watched the game. It was a strike.”
He then floated a change-up over the middle of the plate on his first pitch to Frazier, who hit a drive to left.
Hernandez gave up five runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings.