For about four batters on Wednesday, Hurdle looked like he might be wrong. Pittsburgh bolted to a quick lead and had runners on first and second with one out before the game was 20 minutes old.
The door to a big inning was ajar.
Hernandez quickly slammed it shut, settling down after a shaky start to lead the Mariners to a 2-1 victory and a split of the brief two-game interleague series.
"I was OK," Hernandez said. "I didn't have my very best stuff but I battled hard ... Luckily, I kept us in the game and we were able to win."
Hernandez (5-2) struck out five and walked one to improve to 4-0 in his last five starts while shaving his ERA to 1.53. Tom Wilhelmsen worked the ninth for his ninth save.
Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett (3-3) was almost as sharp, giving up just two hits over seven innings while striking out nine. Yet he also walked four batters and gave up Montero's third homer of the season with one out in the seventh.
The shot to the first row of seats in right-center field was a boost for the slumping Montero, who came into the game hitting just .203.
"The kid is working so hard," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "He's so young and he's learning so much. I think he's starting to get to the point where he can put a little more energy into his hitting and not have to worry quite so much about his catching."