Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/29/12

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was plenty tired after throwing a season-high 128 pitches Thursday against the Boston Red Sox.

He wasn't so tired that he couldn't race onto the field and join his teammates when the Mariners pulled out a 1-0 win on pinch hitter John Jaso's one-out single in the bottom of the ninth.

It was Seattle's third walk-off victory of the season.

"There was a lot of emotion out there tonight," Hernandez said. "It was a great game."

Hernandez struck out a season-best 13 while throwing his fifth career shutout, his first since June 30, 2010, in Yankee Stadium. He allowed just five hits and one walk.

Even so, Hernandez was done after the top of the ninth, when a one-out single by David Ortiz and a walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia had him in his first real jam of the night. A nice running catch by Michael Saunders in center helped him escape the inning.

"That was just a warrior effort by Felix," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "He's our ace, a true No. 1. He showed everything tonight that makes him special. I was going to give him every opportunity to finish it off. He had earned it."

Once Hernandez came off the field, his job wasn't quite complete. It was time to root.

Casper Wells got the Mariners their chance with a one-out double off reliever Scott Atchison. An intentional walk to Justin Smoak brought up Miguel Olivo's spot in the order, and Wedge went to Jaso, who has been one of his best hitters in the clutch.

The result was a slicing single to right. Cody Ross charged the ball and got off a strong throw to the plate, but Saltalamacchia, trying to make the catch and block the plate at the same time, wound up doing neither as well as he would have liked.

"I've got to do a better job holding on there," Saltalamacchia said. "It was a good throw."

Jaso has seven game-winning RBI, the most on the team, despite playing only part time.

"It was a cutter/slider (that Atchison threw)," Jaso said. "I've faced him before, and it's his go-to pitch. He's gotten me more than I've gotten him."

The loss didn't diminish the fact that the Red Sox seem to have found a quality starter of their own. Left-hander Franklin Morales, making his third start after 22 appearances out of the bullpen, gave up just three hits and two walks in seven innings, striking out seven.

"It was a great pitching duel," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. "Franklin had really good stuff and put up zeros all the way. We just couldn't score off Hernandez. He was even a little better."

Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez opened the fourth inning with a single up the middle for the Mariners' first hit, but moments later he was gingerly walking to the clubhouse after being hit by a pickoff throw at first base. Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez missed the throw, and the ball caught Gutierrez near his right ear, below the batting helmet.

Gutierrez fell immediately, and the game was put on hold while he was treated by the team's trainers. Ultimately he walked slowly off the field with help, and Saunders took over for him.

The report after the game was that Gutierrez suffered a mild concussion and would be examined again Friday.

NOTES: Hernandez has a history of success when facing the Red Sox. He is 6-2 with 3.18 ERA in 12 career starts against Boston. ... The Red Sox are ready to bring Josh Beckett (shoulder inflammation) back into the rotation. He'll get his first start Saturday after a 15-day stint on the disabled list. Boston manager Bobby Valentine indicated that he might go with six-man rotation for the time being. ... Seattle right-hander Kevin Millwood, who came out of Wednesday's game with a recurrence of a right groin injury, was feeling better Thursday. There is still a chance he will make his next start Monday. ... Boston designated hitter David Ortiz is sitting on 399 homers. With his next home run, he will break a tie with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline and be alone 49th place on baseball's all-time homers list.

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