The Mariners’ best was at his best, through 26 outs at least.

Seattle ace Felix Hernandez became just the seventh pitcher in team history to reach seven wins in a season before June 1, dominating the Los Angeles Angels until the last out Wednesday, striking out nine in a 3-1 win at Safeco Field.

Hernandez nearly pitched his first complete game since Aug. 27, 2012, but was pulled with two outs in the ninth inning after giving up an RBI double to Albert Pujols. Closer Fernando Rodney came in and promptly got David Freese to line out for his 13th save in 15 opportunities.

“One. Out. Away,” said a smiling Hernandez. “But it’s fine.”

Manager Lloyd McClendon said the pitching change was a tough call, having witnessed such an electric performance.

“You have to weigh the player but you also have to weigh what’s good for the team,” McClendon said. “I had my closer up and he was ready to go, so we thought it was the best matchup and went with it.”

Hernandez improved to 7-1 this season — 5-1 after an M’s loss — and lowered his earned-run average to 2.57. The King has gone at least eight innings in three-straight starts and he’s won four in a row.

Seattle improved to 6-2 against the Angels, having not won a season series head-to-head since 2003.

The Mariners got Hernandez some early run support against starter C.J. Wilson (6-4) as catcher Mike Zunino slapped a two-out, two-run single in the second inning that scored Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager.

On a warm night in front of 13,895 fans, it would be all Seattle needed, even though Zunino hammered a solo home run in the eighth inning to claim all three RBI and give his batterymate some insurance.

“He does so much for us, keeping us in every ballgame he starts,” said Zunino, “and to give him some runs was huge.”

Hernandez said he felt he had good stuff from the very first inning, and it showed. He was untouchable his first time through the Angels lineup, retiring nine batters in order to start the game — five via strikeout.