Hernandez gets assist from Mariners’ defense

SEATTLE — The most difficult play made behind Felix Hernandez in his perfect game was the first one of the day — a long fly ball to right center field by Tampa’s Sam Fuld.

Seattle right fielder Eric Thames, not known for his outfield defense, ran the ball down and made a backhanded catch.

In the seventh inning, the Rays best chance to reach base came when speedy B.J. Upton grounded toward the left side of the infield and Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager dived for the ball and missed.

Shortstop Brendan Ryan fielded the ball and threw Upton out.

“If Kyle catches that ball, I don’t think he has a play because he’s diving to his left,” manager Eric Wedge said.

“If he deflects the ball, I probably don’t have a play,” Ryan said. “I loved the effort, but I’m glad he missed it.”

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