Mariners' Hernandez benefits from support for a change

M's beat White Sox behind ace and a little offense

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SEATTLE -- Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer and a two-run double in his first two at-bats, and Felix Hernandez pitched with a comfortable lead for a change as the Seattle Mariners handed the Chicago White Sox their eighth straight loss with a 7-4 victory Tuesday.

Seattle scored three times in the first inning and three times in the third to give Hernandez a rare cushion on a night when he wasn't at his best early. Thanks to the lead, Hernandez (7-4) was eventually able to find a groove, and he ended up pitching into the eighth inning to win his second straight start.

Ibanez hit the first pitch he saw out to right field for his 11th homer and added the double his next at-bat. It was his second game this season with at least four RBI.

The anticipated matchup between former Cy Young Award winners Hernandez and Jake Peavy (6-4) never materialized into a pitching showdown. Hernandez gave up runs in each of the first two innings, while Peavy was knocked around for six earned runs and seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings.

Hernandez settled down quickly after giving up a run in the first and Adam Dunn's long homer to center field in the second. After Dunn's 13th homer of the season and a single by Alexei Ramirez, Hernandez retired 16 of the next 17 batters and faced the minimum over the next five innings. His only mistake was a walk to Jordan Danks in the fifth, but Danks was quickly erased on a double play.

Hernandez went 7 1/3 innings, allowing four runs while striking out eight and walking one.

Seattle came through with two outs twice in the first inning. Kendrys Morales had an RBI single to score Endy Chavez, and that was followed by Ibanez's homer.