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Mariners' Hernandez named AL Player of the Week

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By Larry LaRue
The News Tribune
SEATTLE -- A night before he makes his 26th start of the season, the American League decided to recognize his 25th and named Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez its Player of the Week.
"I've been pitching seven years, and that's the first one I've gotten" Hernandez said.
Guess pitching the 23rd perfect game in major league history gets it done, although former Mariner Joel Piniero won the award on May 7, 2006, without one. So it goes.
Asked about the award, manager Eric Wedge laughed and said "You would think so!"
Hernandez may have been happier with the news his wife, Sandra and children Mia and Abraham, flew into Seattle from Venezuela and will be at his Tuesday start against Cleveland.
"The last game was the first home game they missed all season," Hernandez said. "I'm getting them T-shirts like everyone else is going to get, and I've got my yellow shirt already. Then there's that 'Felix-ing thing.'"
Ah, that. After the final pitch of his perfect game against Tampa Bay last Wednesday, Hernandez struck a pose unique to him -- one leg uplifted, both arms straight up, his right pointer finger aimed at the sky.
"(Franklin) Gutierrez asked me 'Why did you do that?' and I told him, 'I don't know!'" Hernandez said. "I had no idea what I was doing, but I've seen pictures of people doing it all over the place. It's pretty awesome."
He said he was more than willing to have the pose show up in 2013 Seattle Mariners commericials, especially if it means the end of Larry Bernandez, his make-believe secret identity.
"Larry is out," he said. "I'm tired of Larry."
What was really on his mind Monday?
"Nine more starts," Hernandez said. "That's what matters most to me."
September call ups
September call ups are around the corner, but Wedge wouldn't get into details other than to say Mike Carp and Franklin Gutierrez are expected back for the final full month of 2012.
Left-hander Dan Hultzen?
"I'm not going to get into that, but (general manager) Jack Zduriencik and I have a pretty good idea who we want here," Wedge said.
Short hops
The Mariners began the night having won 12 of their last 13 home games -- the fourth time in franchise history the team has gone 12-1 at home during some stretch of a season. Seattle also did it in 1991, 1995, 2001, They have never gone 13-1. ... Jesus Montero got the day off. He's had one hit in 20 at-bats this home stand. ... John Jaso, the Mariners designated hitter Monday, began the night having started 29 games at catcher and 29 as DH. ... Promotion Alert: The first 34,000 fans in Safeco Field tonight will get a free "King of Perfection" T-shirt commemorating Hernandez's perfect game -- and a 'K' card to wave when Hernandez gets two strikes on a batter.
Larry LaRue, The News Tribune
Story tags » Mariners

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