- Associated Press - Sunday, May 17, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - Felix Hernandez lost his control and his unbeaten record.

The Seattle Mariners ace struggled against the Boston Red Sox, walking three batters in the sixth inning, and picked up a loss for the first time this season as the Red Sox won 4-2 Saturday night.

Brad Miller hit two home runs for the Mariners, who lost for the third time in four games.

Through the first five innings, Hernandez (6-1) gave up solo home runs to David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval but otherwise looked strong. In the sixth inning, however, things changed.

With the score tied at 2, Hernandez tweaked his ankle slightly on his second pitch of the inning to Sandoval. Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon visited the mound with a trainer during the first at-bat of the inning, but after a brief discussion left Hernandez in the game.

“He told me he was OK, but I’m not sure that it didn’t affect him a little bit with his command,” McClendon said.

After Sandoval grounded out, Hernandez walked two straight batters and gave up a run-scoring double to Blake Swihart. Another walk loaded the bases, and Brock Holt’s groundout to first drove in the second run of the inning.

Hernandez left after finishing the sixth inning, his second-shortest outing this season, having allowed four runs and seven hits. He walked four and struck out five, and his three walks in the sixth inning were more than he had allowed in any of his starts this year.

However, Hernandez said the ankle wasn’t the cause of his problems.

“No, not at all, not at all,” he said. “The whole game I fell behind a lot of times. My command wasn’t there.”

Hernandez had won his last seven decisions, stretching back to last season, and the Mariners had won each of Hernandez’s last eight starts.

“He’s human,” Ortiz said of Hernandez’s sixth inning. “I kind of saw him limping at some point a little bit. That’s probably part of him walking three guys. Who knows, but he’s having a hell of a season.”

Rick Porcello (4-2) pitched into the seventh inning, allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts to earn the win.

Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth inning for his ninth save in 10 chances. Uehara hasn’t allowed a hit in his last eight appearances.

OFFENSE GROUNDED

Seattle missed out on a run in the fourth inning. With two outs, Dustin Ackley drove a ball deep to right-center which looked as though it would easily score Kyle Seager from first, but it bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double, and Chris Taylor then grounded out to end the inning.

HOT HAND

Miller is on a five-game hitting streak. During the stretch, he’s hitting 8 for 17 with three doubles, three homers and four RBIs. He’s also been in the lineup as designated hitter most of the time.

“Obviously it’s pretty cut and dry for me: I’m just hitting,” said Miller, who started 24 games at shortstop this season. “I know that’s how I can contribute, it’s hitting that night. So I’ve really got to focus when I get in there and take advantage of it.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: OF Shane Victorino, reinstated from the DL on Monday (right hamstring strain), was out of the lineup Saturday. “There’s still some limitation on the number of consecutive games played,” Boston manager John Farrell said of Victorino’s status.

Mariners: OF Austin Jackson (right ankle sprain), on the DL since May 4, started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday night.

OLD SCHOOL

The teams wore throwback uniforms in the style of 1946 Negro League teams - the Seattle Steelheads and Boston Royal Giants.

UP NEXT

Boston’s RHP Steven Wright (1-0, 4.22 ERA) will start Sunday in the final of the four-game series. Wright has faced the Mariners twice in relief and has a 2-0 record. He has not allowed an earned run in 8 2/3 innings against Seattle. The Mariners will start LHP James Paxton (1-2, 4.31), who goes into the game with a 12-inning scoreless streak.

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