PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Felix Hernandez will not let one missed pitch spoil his fun on the mound.
Hernandez gave up a solo home run to Eric Hinske in the second inning Tuesday, his only hit allowed in three innings of the Seattle Mariners' 5-4 loss to an Arizona Diamondbacks split squad.
``Mistake,' Hernandez explained with a smile. ``Trying to go (inside); left it up.'
Hernandez struck out three and walked one in his second start. The 26-year-old ace faced 11 batters and threw 38 pitches - 27 strikes. He said he was pleased with the movement of his pitches and command.
``Good sinker, curveball is good, slider - threw only two or three,' said Hernandez, who signed a seven-year, $175 million contract in February. ``Changeup is always there.'
After exiting the game, Hernandez retreated to the bullpen where he threw another 15 pitches to work on building up arm strength and throwing from the stretch. Seattle manager Eric Wedge said he wants to see Hernandez throw about 65 pitches in his next start.
``He threw 38 pitches out there, but we wanted him to get to 50 so we sent him down to the bullpen to simulate the last 12,' Wedge said. ``He was strong, used all his pitches, he looked great out there today.'
Hernandez said his preparation is progressing at the same pace as last year when he was 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA and 222 strikeouts.
``Same time,' he said, ``coming along pretty good.'
Hector Noesi relieved Hernandez and hurt his chances to earn a spot in Seattle's rotation. Noesi, who started 18 games and went 2-12 last season for the Mariners, gave up a home run to Mark Teahen and walked two, allowing three earned runs in one inning.
Noesi has been rocked for nine runs on 12 hits and eight walks in 4 2-3 innings in the spring.
``He has big league stuff,' Wedge said, ``but he has to continue to learn how to put hitters away and learn how to control damage.'
Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin, competing for the final spot in the starting rotation, bounced back from a rough performance in his previous outing.
The 23-year-old left-hander went four innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out two. Last week, he gave up four runs on three hits and a walk in one inning against Kansas City.
``Felt good today, I was able to locate my fastball,' Corbin said. ``I thought I threw some really good changeups today.'
Corbin is competing against Randall Delgado and Tyler Skaggs for the fifth slot in Arizona's rotation.
``The three of us are all going out there fighting for it,' said Corbin, who started 17 games for the Diamondbacks last season, going 6-8 with a 4.54 ERA. ``You gotta go out there and just pitch your game I feel like that's what I've been doing. Just go out there and show them what I did last year.'
NOTES: Arizona CF Ollie Linton was helped off the field in the ninth inning after injuring a leg while diving for a ball. . Seattle SS Brendan Ryan twice sent a bat flying into the stands behind the Mariners' dugout during an at-bat in the third inning. No spectators were injured. . Seattle 2B Dustin Ackley struck out three times in four at_bats. . Seattle 1B Justin Smoak hit his fourth double of the spring. . Seattle optioned left-handed pitcher Anthony Fernandez to Double-A Jackson. . On Wednesday, Seattle will start Hisashi Iwakuma against Kansas City and Arizona will send Randall Delgado to the mound against Milwaukee.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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