Seattle's Hernandez hurls third perfect game of 2012 season

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE - Felix Hernandez, regarded by some as the perfect pitcher of his generation, put perfection into practice Wednesday.

Matched up against the Tampa Bay Rays, he threw the third perfect game of the 2012 season, setting down all 27 batters he faced, striking out 12 of them for a 1-0 victory, his 11th win of the season.

There weren't any screaming outs on which the Mariner defense had to make outstanding plays. It was, if there could ever be such a thing, as routine a perfect game as one could imagine.

Seattle scored one run in the third inning on an RBI single by DH Jesus Montero off the Rays' Jeremy Hellickson, and that was it.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon got thrown out of the game in the seventh inning while arguing a called strike against right fielder Matt Joyce.

But Maddon got little sympathy from home plate umpire Rob Drake, who liked what he saw from Hernandez all afternoon.

It was the second perfect game of the season thrown at Safeco Field and the third no-hitter. Philip Humber of the White Sox threw a perfect game at the Mariners on April 21, and six Seattle pitchers - starter Kevin Millwood and relievers Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen - combined for a no-hitter on June 8.

Hernandez threw his arms to the sky after Sean Rodriguez took a called third strike to end the game and he was swarmed near the pitchers' mound by his teammates after the first perfect game in Seattle Mariner history.

When he finally walked out of the scrum and of the field, he was given a standing ovation by the 21,889 on hand.

This was the first perfect game thrown in the month of August in Major League history.
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