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THE DAILY ROLL

<  Shannon Drayer

Mariners lose game, but probably not Felix Hernandez

By Shannon Drayer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Just a quick postgame note: Following the Mariners' 3-1 loss to the Royals on Monday, Felix Hernandez said he was fine after coming out of the game mid-batter in the seventh inning. The problem was originally said to be a lower-back cramp but Felix said it was actually a cramp in his side.

"It's nothing bad," he said. "I will be okay."

While he said he had never experienced a cramp there before, he wasn't too concerned and indicated that the heat might have had something to do with it.

As for his pitching, Felix bounced back from what was perhaps his worst outing of the year with much better stuff. The changeup, which had been a concern, looked better and he wasn't shy about going to it. The Royals didn't need much to better the Mariners' one run, however, and were able to get to Felix by stringing together a few singles and using their speed.

The Mariners' offense was missing in action once again with runners in scoring position. The middle of the order – Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales – went 0 for 8 and had opportunities to drive in runs in the first and third innings.

The team did break its streak dating back to Friday of 22 innings without an extra-base hit but a double by Abraham Almonte and triple by Brad Miller were not enough.

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