Mariners' ace Hernandez strikes out 5 in spring debut
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Felix Hernandez allowed three runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings in his spring training debut Monday, but the Seattle Mariners' split squad fell to the Colorado Rockies 6-4.
The Mariners' ace was scheduled to go three innings or throw 45 to 50 pitches. He was lifted after Ryan Raburn's two-run single in the top of the third, having struck out five and walked one.
''It was good to be out there again,'' the six-time All-Star said. ''A lot of swings at the first pitch so it's kind of hard to pitch like that. But I felt pretty good.''
Raburn went 3-for-3 and drove in four runs. He has played parts of 10 seasons with Detroit and Cleveland and signed a minor-league contract with Colorado earlier this month.
''Just trying to get my legs under me and show the Rockies that I can play and go from there, and see what happens,'' Raburn said. ''I do have a little bit of a track record. Hopefullly that helps me out.''
Trevor Story, who is closing in on the Rockies' starting shortstop job, hit a solo home run, tripled, walked and scored three runs. The youngster, whose home run came off of veteran reliever and likely Seattle setup man Joaquin Benoit in the seventh inning, has the best batting average on the team (.350) and has four home runs.
''He's in a really good place. He's in complete control of what he's doing right now,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''Looks very comfortable.''
Tyler Chatwood pitched three hitless innings for the Rockies. New Mariners first baseman Adam Lind hit his first home run of the spring and Franklin Gutierrez hit his third, both homers coming back-to-back in the sixth inning.
''It's just crazy how much power he's got to right-center field,'' Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Gutierrez, who raised his spring average to .462 with two hits.
Chatwood is trying to win a spot in the starting rotation with three up for grabs for the Rockies.
Rockies: Chatwood made his second start and third appearance of the spring and got seven outs on ground balls. He said his go-to pitch to induce ground balls is a sinker when it is effective. ''I got into some hitter counts, that last inning I had guys 2-0, and being able to still get ground balls, for me, that's a good sign that the action's there,'' Chatwood said.
Mariners: Hernandez swatted at the air in frustration after his wild pitch allowed the Rockies to score their first run. He threw 50 pitches and felt he needed more command on his fastball. ''It was behind the batter,'' Hernandez sheepishly said of the wild pitch, explaining that he didn't get crossed up with catcher Chris Iannetta. ''He did really good.''
Rockies: Pitcher Tyler Matzek is away from spring training to deal with a personal issue, manager Walt Weiss said. He isn't expected to miss a great deal of time. Matzek, who has previously been diagnosed with performance anxiety, pitched the March 2 spring training opener but hasn't appeared in a game since.
Mariners: Closer Steve Cishek (biceps) threw a bullpen session Monday and hopes to return to game action this week. C Steve Clevenger and P Tony Zych, both ill, didn't play in either split-squad game Monday.
Rockies: Jorge De La Rosa starts for Colorado on Tuesday against Oakland in Scottsdale.
Mariners: Cody Martin, with two appearances in relief this spring, makes his first start Tuesday in Tempe against the Los Angeles Angels.