Mariners 3, Padres 1
Felix Hernandez has one more tuneup to go. His latest one was
right on the money.
Hernandez looked primed and ready for the regular season,
pitching six shutout innings to help the Seattle Mariners beat the
San Diego Padres 3-1 on Friday night.
The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed two hits and struck
out nine – including six straight in the third and fourth innings.
He threw 70 pitches and didn’t walk a batter.
”Everything felt right,” Hernandez said. ”I had pretty good
That might be an understatement. Hernandez’s fastball command
was spot-on and all his pitches had excellent movement. He was so
good that the Padres’ home crowd gave him a standing ovation at the
spring training complex San Diego shares with Seattle.
”I’m getting more and more comfortable with every start,”
Hernandez said. ”I’m continuing to get ready for the regular
season, and tonight everything came together.”
Hernandez has one spring start left before getting the ball on
opening day in Oakland. He’ll elevate his pitch count to roughly 90
in his final outing.
The right-hander signed a $175 million, seven-year contract last
month, the largest deal for a pitcher in baseball history.
Padres starter Tyson Ross was effective early, but inefficiency
cut his outing short. He gave up only one run but was pulled after
throwing 94 pitches in 4 2-3 innings.
Ross, competing with Andrew Cashner for the No. 5 spot in San
Diego’s rotation, had six strikeouts and two walks.
Kelly Shoppach homered to right field leading off the fifth for
Seattle, snapping Ross’ scoreless streak at 15 1-3 innings, which
dated to Feb. 28.
”He was a little spotty on the ball-to-strike ratio,” Padres
manager Bud Black said. ”Throwing 94 times in 4 2-3 is not ideal,
but we saw some strides being made. He’s implemented the mechanical
changes we’ve asked and he’s improving.”
San Diego’s health is not improving as fast as Black would like.
Left fielder Carlos Quentin (knee) and infielder Logan Forsythe
(plantar fasciitis) remain out with injuries. There is no timetable
for either player’s return, and Black said before the game it was
possible both could start the season on the disabled list.
”We’ll see what happens over the next handful of days, but
there’s no doubt we have to see some things for us to feel good
about putting them on the opening-day roster,” he explained.
Playing meaningful games without either player would be a blow.
Quentin is a proven power hitter and Forsythe was expected to
replace third baseman Chase Headley, out four to six weeks with a
Yonder Alonso went deep for the Padres, his fourth home run in
his last eight games.
NOTES: Mariners RHP John Garland exercised an out-clause in his
contract to leave the team. Garland was able to do so because he
wasn’t guaranteed to be in Seattle’s starting rotation. Many
veteran non-roster invitees have out-clauses in their contracts.
”It’s strange to have it come so early, but I understand why he
has it,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. ”I’m sure he’ll draw
plenty of interest from other teams.” Garland was 1-0 with a 2.25
ERA in four spring starts. … Padres RHP Edinson Volquez threw two
innings in a minor league game, his first outing since returning
from the World Baseball Classic. He threw 29 pitches and struck out
three. Volquez will throw a bullpen session Sunday before assuming
a regular-season rest schedule. He is a leading candidate to be the
team’s opening-day starter. Black has yet to name one. … RHPs
Thad Weber and Daniel Stange and C Eddy Rodriguez were reassigned
to minor league camp.