Edgar Martinez moves into hitting adviser role with Mariners

Edgar Martinez moves into hitting adviser role with Mariners

Edgar Martinez is stepping down as the hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners and moving into a new role as a hitting adviser for the entire organization, the club announced Tuesday. Martinez said the move is largely based around his desire to spend more time with family, but with the help of the Mariners

Seattle Mariners hurler Felix Hernandez becomes US citizen

Seattle Mariners hurler Felix Hernandez becomes US citizen

America is still the place to be.

Felix Hernandez, a native Venezuelan and pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, passed his citizenship interview Monday.

“This country has given me everything,” said Hernandez, 32. “It’s a dream come true. It means a lot. We’ve been here a long time. I wanted to do it.”

Strife in Venezuela is among the reasons Hernandez desired U.S. citizenship. He wants to bring his parents to the U.S. more easily.

“The situation in Venezuela is real bad now,” Hernandez said. “It’s tough. There are people who can’t get any food. It’s crazy.”

The 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner, nicknamed King Felix, is in his 14th season with the Mariners. A group of fans known as the King’s Court have sat in the left-field corner for years counting and yelling during each of his strikeouts. Hernandez is a six-time All-Star who became the team’s career strikeouts leader in 2016.

He is 168-127.

Mariners’ teammates stood and applauded, and “God Bless America” played on speakers when Hernandez entered Seattle’s clubhouse after becoming a U.S. citizen.

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez, left, is sworn in as a U.S. citizen at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field office in Tukwila, Wash., on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. Felix, reciting the Oath of Allegiance, is a native of Venezuela. (Mike Siegel/ The Seattle Times via AP)

Strife in Venezuela is among the reasons Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez desired U.S. citizenship. He wants to bring his parents to the U.S. more easily.  (Mike Siegel/ The Seattle Times via AP)

His wife, Sandra, became a citizen a month ago, but Hernandez didn’t pass his test that day.

Hernandez said she gave him a hard time about it.

“I didn’t study,” he said. “I think I only got one question right.”

Hernandez said he had no problems in his second attempt.

“It’s 100 questions, but they ask you 10 and you have to pass six,” Hernandez said. “I was prepared for this one.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is [email protected]

A's club four homers to beat Mariners after clinching playoff spot

A's club four homers to beat Mariners after clinching playoff spot

SEATTLE  – The Oakland Athletics clinched their first playoff berth since 2014, then beat the Seattle Mariners 7-3 Monday night behind Khris Davis‘ major league-leading 46th home run.

Jonathan Lucroy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Chapman also homered for the A’s, assured no worse than a wild-card berth.

Oakland was one out into the game when Tampa Bay was eliminated with a 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees. The A’s went on to win after Chapman broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run drive in the seventh off Shawn Armstrong (0-1).

Coming off three straight last-place finishes in the AL West, the A’s (95-62) are 4½ games behind AL West-leading Houston. They trail the Yankees by 1½ games for home-field advantage should they meet in a wild-card matchup.

Robinson Cano and Dee Gordon homered for the Mariners.

Few predicted the A’s could make the playoffs this season, a young team with few proven stars and a team that was 75-87 a year ago. Oakland won only 68 games in 2015 and 69 in 2016. The A’s have the third-lowest payroll among the 30 major league clubs at $78 million for their 40-man roster, ahead of only the White Sox and Rays.

Oakland was 34-36 and 11 games behind Seattle in the wild-card on June 15. The A’s have gone 61-26 since.

“We’ve had some younger players mature and become, for me, stars,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Monday before the game. “I think the two guys on the corners (third baseman Matt Chapman and first baseman Matt Olson) should win Gold Gloves.

“Our defense is night-and-day to what it was and it’s gotten better as the year’s gone along. We’ve gone from last year being one of the worst defenses in the league to now one of the best. Our bullpen has been a strength for us all year. We don’t just rely on one facet. We seem to be able to win in different ways.”

One big contributor is Davis, the team’s designated hitter, with 120 RBIs. Davis has hit at least 40 homers and driven in over 100 runs in each of this three seasons with the Athletics.

Blake Treinen, who pitched a perfect ninth inning , is 9-2 and one of the top closers in baseball this season with 37 saves and a 0.81 ERA, the lowest of all major-league relievers with at least 75 innings pitched. Opponents have a .091 batting average against Treinen this season with runners in scoring position.

“It’s amazing,” Melvin said. “Not only is he doing it closing games, he’s doing in game when we’re tied and he’s pitching two innings at times. The numbers are absolutely fantastic. I don’t know that I’ve seen numbers like that from any closer in quite some time. He’s meant a lot to this team.”

The A’s are the only team in the majors with an undefeated record this season when leading after seven innings (68-0) and have the best record in one-run games at 31-13.

Oakland made key moves to bolster the pitching staff via trades over the summer by adding veteran relievers Juerys Familia and Fernando Rodney and starter Mike Fiers, who is 5-1 with a 2.90 ERA since joining the Athletics.

The A’s overcame losing key starters from their rotation down the stretch. That included left-hander Sean Manaea, who pitched a no-hitter on April 21 against Boston and is done for the year recover from arthroscopic shoulder surgery that took place this past week.

The Athletics will be making their fourth playoff appearance in the last seven seasons, all under Melvin, and their 27th overall. The A’s lost at Kansas City 9-8 in 12 innings in the 2014 wild-card game, the last time Oakland reached the postseason.

The last time the A’s reached the World Series was 1990, losing in four games to Cincinnati. Oakland won the 1989 World Series after the Bay Area earthquake, sweeping San Francisco.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: Oakland starting pitcher Daniel Mengden was on the ground writhing in pain when he took a liner off his right foot that was hit by Denard Span. Mengden was on the ground for about five minutes, but got up and surprisingly stayed in the game. LHP Ryan Buchter (5-0) got two outs, and three more relievers completed a six-hitter.

Mariners: LHP James Paxton, making his first start since Sept. 7 after a bout with pneumonia, allowed two runs – both on homers- and three hits. He left after four innings and 71 pitches because he was on a pitch count.

UP NEXT

Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson (4-5, 3.96 ERA) will make his third start Tuesday since coming off the 10-day DL (strained left forearm) on Sept. 13. Anderson is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA since coming off the DL.

Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (10-10, 4.10 ERA) will make his 31st start Tuesday. Leake gave up five runs in 6.1 inning in his last start at Houston, but allowed only one run over 13 innings in his two starts prior to that outing.

A's clinch playoff berth, then mash Mariners

A's clinch playoff berth, then mash Mariners

Shortly after learning that they’d clinched their first playoff spot since 2014, the Oakland Athletics went out and overpowered the host Seattle Mariners 7-3 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series.

The clincher for the A’s came when the New York Yankees (96-60) earned a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay (87-69), formally knocking the Rays out of contention for the second wild-card spot in the American League.

The A’s (95-62) can still earn the first wild card — and the home-field advantage in the single-elimination playoff game that comes with it — by finishing ahead of the Yankees.

The Yankees finish with three more games at Tampa Bay and then three at Boston. The A’s, meanwhile, have two remaining games at Seattle before wrapping up the regular season with three at the Los Angeles Angels. Oakland trails New York by 1 1/2 games.

The A’s used four home runs to turn back the Mariners in the series opener, with Matt Chapman connecting on the most important blast, a tiebreaking, two-run shot off Shawn Armstrong (0-1) in the seventh inning. It was Chapman’s 24th homer of the season.

Jonathan Lucroy (No. 4), Jed Lowrie (No. 22) and Khris Davis (No. 46) had hit earlier solo shots to account for Oakland’s first three runs.

The A’s added two insurance runs in the eighth on Matt Olson’s RBI single and Marcus Semien’s sacrifice fly.

Ryan Buchter (5-0), who relieved A’s starter Daniel Mengden in the sixth inning, was credited with the win after pitching two-thirds of an inning, allowing one hit.

Robinson Cano opened the game’s scoring with a solo homer, his 10th of the season, in the first inning. After the first three Oakland homers, Dee Gordon drew the Mariners even at 3-3 in the sixth with a two-run shot, knocking in Mike Zunino, who had doubled.

The homer was Gordon’s fourth of the year.

Mengden was pulled after 5 1/3 innings, having allowed three runs and four hits. He walked one and struck out five.

Mariners left-hander James Paxton worked the first four innings, charged with two runs and three hits. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Lucroy scored twice and had two hits for the A’s, who improved to 8-9 against the Mariners this season.

Zunino collected two hits and Gordon had two RBIs for the Mariners (85-71), who lost their second straight.

—Field Level Media

A's Beat Mariners Then Celebrate Playoff Berth

A's Beat Mariners Then Celebrate Playoff Berth

The Oakland A’s took care of business on the field before they could celebrate their first trip to the postseason in four years, beating the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

Just as their game was getting started, the A’s learned the New York Yankees had defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to put Oakland into the playoffs.

Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez becomes US citizen

Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez becomes US citizen

Updated

SEATTLE (AP) — Mariners teammates stood and applauded and “God Bless America” played on speakers when Felix Hernandez entered Seattle’s clubhouse after becoming a U.S. citizen.

A native of Venezuela, the 32-year-old pitcher passed his citizenship interview Monday and was among 74 people from 36 countries who became naturalized U.S. citizens during a ceremony in downtown Seattle.

“This country has given me everything,” Hernandez said. “It’s a dream come true. It means a lot. We’ve been here a long time. I wanted to do it.”

Strife in Venezuela is among the reasons Hernandez desired U.S. citizenship. He wants to bring his parents to the U.S. more easily.

“The situation in Venezuela is real bad now,” Hernandez said. “It’s tough. There are people who can’t get any food. It’s crazy.”

His wife, Sandra, became a U.S. citizen a month ago, but Hernandez didn’t pass his test that day. Hernandez said she gave him a hard time about it.

“I didn’t study,” he said. “I think I only got one question right.”

Hernandez said he had no problems in his second attempt.

“It’s 100 questions, but they ask you 10 and you have to pass six,” Hernandez said. “I was prepared for this one.”

The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, nicknamed King Felix, is in his 14th season with the Mariners. A group of fans known as The King’s Court have sat in the left-field corner for years counting and yelling during each of his strikeouts. Hernandez is a six-time All-Star who became the team’s career strikeouts leader in 2016.

He is 168-127, including 8-13 this year.

___

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