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Felix Hernandez sharp, Nelson Cruz goes deep, bullpen throws well in 4-0 win over Oakland; Mariners enter break at 43-47

HERNANDEZThe Seattle Mariners played a solid game to end the first half of the season, beating Oakland 4-0 Sunday at Safeco Field.

Felix Hernandez gave up only two hits in six innings, Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer and even closer Edwin Diaz notched a shutout inning.

The Mariners enter the All-Star break at 43-47 and still alive in the quest to make the American League playoffs.

Hernandez struck out a season-high eight hitters and walked three. He was pulled after six innings and 100 pitches. Four relievers kept the shutout intact; Diaz struck out two in the ninth inning.

"Absolutely the best we've seen him all year," manager Scott Servais said of Hernandez. "He was locked in. All his pitches were working."

Cruz, who's headed to the All-Star Game, hit his 17th home run, a two-run job that also gave him an A.L.-leading 70 RBIs.

Backup catcher Carlos Ruiz, who went 3-for-3, added an RBI single.

The Athletics, the only team trailing the Mariners in the A.L. West standings, fell to 39-50.

The Mariners salvaged a 2-5 homestand with the win.

"To not play to our capabilities, it's frustrating," Servais said.

Other than Cruz and Robinson Cano, who are part of the A.L. All-Star team, the Mariners have until Friday, July 14 off. They'll open a series at the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

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