Hernandez avoids liner, strikes out three in debut

Seattle Mariners’ Adam Kennedy flings his bat after striking out to San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum during the third inning of a spring training baseball game Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz.

PHOENIX — Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was fortunate to get through his first batter of spring training.

Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, shook off a line drive by A’s leadoff hitter David DeJesus that just missed hitting him in the head.

He stayed in the game and struck out three in 2 2-3 innings of his spring debut and the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Monday.

“It was fun,” Hernandez said. “It’s been a while since I pitched in a big league game, but I feel pretty good. I was down in the zone, throwing a lot of strikes.”

Hernandez allowed a run and five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. He threw 53 pitches and had a quick chat with DeJesus while walking back to the dugout after the first inning.

“I was like ‘Whoa, first game, man, you’re gonna do that?’” Hernandez said he told DeJesus in jest. “It was scary.”

Hernandez, who will pitch every five days throughout the rest of spring training, was lifted after giving up a run on Kevin Kouzmanoff’s two-out single in the third and walking the last batter he faced.

Chris Gimenez drove in two runs and Ichiro Suzuki, Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan each had an RBI for the Mariners.

Right-hander Michael Pineda, a prized rookie who’s a strong candidate for the Seattle starting rotation, pitched two scoreless innings with two walks and a strikeout.

He threw 40 pitches, 23 for strikes.

“It’s a little difficult (pitching after Hernandez) because he’s nasty,” Pineda said. “I’m working on the mound. I threw the ball inside, outside. It’s OK.”

For the A’s, Kouzmanoff had two hits and is batting .500 in spring games (6 for 12). Hideki Matsui blooped a single in the first inning for his first hit of spring training (1 for 11), Andy LaRoche hit a two-run home run and starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso allowed one earned run in three innings with two strikeouts.

“He had a good changeup, good fastball, good control,” A’s manager Bob Geren said of Moscoso, who is competing for a spot in the rotation.


Sunday’s Game

GIANTS?6, MARINERS?1 — In Scottsdale, Ariz., Tim Lincecum struck out seven and worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the third inning to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award-winner was one strike away from a rare four-strikeout inning in the fourth after allowing leadoff hitter Jack Cust to reach base on a wild pitch on the third strike. He fanned Seattle’s Adam Kennedy and Milton Bradley to get out of the third-inning jam.

Lincecum gave up three hits and walked three in 3 2-3 innings. Closer Brian Wilson, who’d been out with a bad back, made his spring training debut and struck out two in one inning.

Mariners starter Nate Robertson allowed four runs on four hits.


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