HOUSTON – Felix Hernandez was at a loss.
The pitcher so dominate he had earned the nickname “King Felix” had more than two hours to contemplate his night and still couldn’t wrap his head around it.
“I don’t know what happened,” he said, his face lacking any emotion. “To be honest, I don’t really know.”
Luis Valbuena and Jason Castro homered as the Houston Astros chased Hernandez in an eight-run first inning to snap a season-high, seven-game losing streak with a 10-0 victory over Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners on Friday.
Carlos Correa and Chris Carter also went deep for the Astros, but All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve left early with discomfort in his right hamstring.
Hernandez (9-3), who had allowed just seven runs on the road all season, was tagged for five hits and eight runs with two walks. He got only one out, tying the shortest start of his career.
Altuve got the big inning going with a leadoff single before Preston Tucker walked on four pitches. George Springer’s double down the right-field line made it 1-0 before things really started falling apart for Hernandez.
Evan Gattis hit a one-hopper to Hernandez on the next pitch, and the right-hander threw home to try and stop Tucker from scoring. Instead, Hernandez threw it in the dirt and the ball bounced off catcher Mike Zunino’s leg for an error that allowed two runs to score and Gattis to reach second.
Hernandez shook his fist and cursed at himself after the ball rolled away and the runners crossed the plate.
After a short mound visit, Hernandez walked Colby Rasmus before striking out Correa for the first out of the inning.
But then Valbuena snapped an 0-for-19 slump by sending an 141 kph changeup into the bullpen in right-center to extend the lead to 6-0 and leave the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner shaking his head.
“Blink of an eye, it was 6-0,” Hernandez said. “Fifteen pitches.”
Carter singled before Castro launched a homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field to make it 8-0 and end Hernandez’s night just 31 pitches after it began. He looked bewildered as he watched Castro’s drive and mumbled to himself before covering his mouth with his glove as he slowly walked to the dugout.
“They just kept getting hits,” Hernandez said. “The home run from Castro was unreal. It was just one of those days.”
Manager Lloyd McClendon said it was pointless to keep Hernandez out there after things got away from him.
“Look, he’s human,” McClendon said. “He had a tough night. I was not going to stress him anymore. He was at 31 pitches with one out. Just made no sense.”
Brett Oberholtzer (1-1) allowed three hits in eight sharp innings and Joe Thatcher completed the four-hitter. It was Oberholtzer’s fourth start of the season after missing much of the year because of two stints on the disabled list.
Correa, a highly touted rookie making his home debut, was the only out Hernandez got before his early exit. But the top pick in the 2012 draft added a solo homer in the second, and Carter pushed the lead to double digits with his soaring shot in the fifth.
The abbreviated start by Hernandez forced the Mariners to use four relievers before going to catcher Jesus Sucre for the eighth.
Angels 5, Athletics 4
In Anaheim, Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with eighth-inning homers, leading Los Angeles to a seesaw triumph over Oakland.
Josh Reddick had given the A’s a 4-3 lead in the seventh with a two-run shot against Fernando Salas.
Blue Jays 13, Red Sox 10
In Boston, Russell Martin broke a tie with a three-run triple in a nine-run seventh inning as Toronto rallied past the Red Sox by overcoming an 8-1 deficit.
The Blue Jays won their ninth straight game and scored at least six runs for the eighth time in that stretch.
Tigers 4, Indians 0
In Detroit, David Price pitched a seven-hitter for his third career shutout and Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer and an RBI double.
Rangers 6, Twins 2
In Arlington, Texas, Elvis Andrus had a career-high four RBIs and Texas got the tiebreaking runs on a two-out error by Minnesota center fielder Aaron Hicks as the Rangers beat the Twins.
Rays 7, White Sox 5
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Joey Butler had three of Tampa Bay’s 14 hits and Matt Andriese earned his first major league win in the Rays’ victory over Chicago.
Orioles 11, Yankees 3
In Baltimore, Chris Davis homered and drove in four runs, and the Orioles beat Michael Pineda and New York for their season-high fifth straight win.
Cardinals 4, Royals 0
In St. Louis, Jaime Garcia pitched eight innings of four-hit ball and helped himself with an RBI single for the Cardinals, which ended Kansas City’s four-game winning streak with a victory in the opener of a high-profile weekend interleague series.
Mets 5, Braves 3
In New York, Bartolo Colon moved into a tie for the major league lead with his ninth win, Wilmer Flores and John Mayberry Jr. homered, and the Mets held on to beat Atlanta.
The 42-year-old Colon (9-4) gave up two runs and six hits in six effective innings as he matched Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole for most victories in baseball.
Diamondbacks 1, Giants 0
In San Francisco, Chase Anderson lost his no-hit bid when he got hit on the right calf by Buster Posey’s sharp comebacker with one out in the seventh inning, and Arizona shut out the Giants.
San Francisco’s Norichika Aoki was hitless in four at-bats and his average fell to .330, and the Giants lost their sixth straight home game.
Reds 5, Cubs 4 (10)
In Chicago, Eugenio Suarez drove in Todd Frazier with an unearned tie-breaking run in the 10th inning.
Brewers 8, Nationals 4
In Milwaukee, Aramis Ramirez hit three doubles and drove in five runs, Mike Fiers pitched seven effective innings, and the Brewers beat Washington.
Marlins 5, Rockies 1
In Miami, Jose Urena pitched into the seventh inning for his first major league victory, and the Marlins supported him with some slugging to beat Colorado.
Miami’s Ichiro Suzuki was 0-for-1.
Dodgers 4, Padres 3
In San Diego, Alex Guerrero’s pinch-hit single drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning, lifting Los Angeles over the Padres.
Pirates 1, Phillies 0 (13)
In Pittsburgh, Starling Marte’s single in the bottom of the 13th drove in Chris Stewart and the Pirates edged Philadelphia.