AL pitcher hits slam off Santana
By Mike Fitzpatrick
NEW YORK ó Felix Hernandez hit the first grand slam by an American League pitcher in 37 years, then departed with a sprained ankle before he could qualify for a win in the Seattle Marinersí 5-2 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.
Facing a fellow ace from Venezuela, Hernandez connected off Johan Santana with two outs in the second inning to give Seattle a 4-0 lead.
The opposite-field shot to right-center was the first home run by a pitcher in Mariners history and the first slam by an AL hurler since Clevelandís Steve Dunning went deep against Oaklandís Diego Segui on May 11, 1971, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Three innings later, Hernandez sprained his left ankle while trying to cover home plate on a run-scoring wild pitch. Carlos Beltran slid hard into the feet of Hernandez, who left the game one out short of being eligible for a win. After a painful warmup pitch, he had to be helped to the dugout by team trainers.
Roy Corcoran relieved Hernandez and worked 1 1/3 hitless innings. Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-1) struck out three in two perfect innings, and Arthur Rhodes earned his first save since 2006 with Philadelphia.
Beltranís RBI single off Sean Green cut it to 5-2 in the ninth before Rhodes fanned Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley with two on.
Jose Lopez added a run-scoring single for the Mariners, who improved to 12-25 on the road and 2-2 overall since new manager Jim Riggleman replaced the fired John McLaren.
The Mets fell to 3-3 under interim skipper Jerry Manuel, who managed his first game at Shea Stadium since taking over when Willie Randolph was fired last week.