The Seattle ace had his start cut short by a stiff right elbow, but he was good enough in his 5 2/3 innings to pitch the Mariners to a 9-2 win over the Rangers on Sunday.
Hernandez (18-9) is 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five starts against Texas this season, becoming just the fifth pitcher to beat the Rangers at least five times in a season.
He left because of the elbow, but he already threw 105 pitches and the Mariners were comfortably ahead 8-2.
"If you make good pitches, stay down in the zone, you can pitch against them," Hernandez said of his success against Texas. "Those guys, they can hit home runs anyway. If I make quality pitches, I think I'll be OK."
Hernandez allowed two runs on four hits, striking out five and walking five, and he is not expected to miss his next start. Hernandez said he will see how he feels Monday but that his goal is to win 20 games. He has never had a 20-win season, with his career-high, 19-win season coming in 2009.
The loss to Hernandez and the Mariners cut Texas' lead over the Houston Astros in the American League West to 1 1/2 games.
The Mariners gave Hernandez all the run support he needed when they blew open a 2-2 game with six runs in the fifth inning, five of them coming off Texas starter Derek Holland (3-3).
Third baseman Kyle Seager broke the tie when he lined a two-run double to right. Holland then intentionally walked designated hitter Nelson Cruz to get to second baseman Robinson Cano. That moved backfired, as Cano hit a three-run homer to right to end Holland's day with Seattle leading 7-2.
"We were able to get his pitch count up," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said of Holland. "He's been tough on us. We had good at-bats against him. He hung a breaking ball to Robby (Cano), and (Cano) didn't miss it. Our guys put together good at-bats."
Holland is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his past three games after allowing seven runs on seven hits Sunday.
"I'm just not very happy with the way things went," Holland said. "I've got to pitch better than that. I pitched terrible. We're in a playoff race here, and I'm supposed to be a guy you can count on, and I'm not showing it right now."
The Rangers got to Hernandez for a run in the second inning on a solo homer from first baseman Mitch Moreland. After Seattle took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth, Texas tied the game in the bottom of the frame on a single from shortstop Elvis Andrus.
The Mariners had 14 hits, with Seager leading the way with three. Cano was 2-for-4 with four RBIs. All four of Texas' hits came in the first four innings.
Despite the loss, the Rangers went 7-3 on their homestand and took the lead in the West. They now begin their final road trip of the season Tuesday in Oakland while focusing on the positives instead of Sunday's tough loss.
"It was a good homestand for us," Moreland said. "We've played good baseball, we're in a great position, and we're right where we want to be. Feeding off of each other and going to continue to try and do that on the road trip."
NOTES: Texas recalled OF Leonys Martin from Triple-A Round Rock. He was sent to Round Rock on Aug. 4 and then had surgery to fix a broken hamate bone in his right hand. ... OF Delino DeShields was out of the Texas lineup after hurting his left knee trying to make a catch Saturday. He is expected to play Tuesday in Oakland. ... Seattle's Stefen Romero started in center field Sunday for the first time in his professional career. ... The Mariners won the season series against Texas for the first time since 2007. ... The only team to reach double digits in runs scored in games more than Texas this year is Toronto. The Rangers' 10-1 win over the Mariners on Saturday marked the 15th time Texas scored at least 10 runs.