KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Livan Hernandez hopes there are a lot more pitches remaining in his right arm.
Hernandez got set for the ninth opening-day start of his career, giving up one hit in four innings Saturday as the Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros 10-0.
The 36-year-old Hernandez is set to pitch Thursday at home against the Atlanta Braves.
``This is special. I'm very excited and very happy about the honor,' he said. ``I hope it's not going to be the last one.'
If Stephen Strasburg's recovery proceeds as scheduled, the Nationals might not need another opening-day starter for a long time.
``He's coming back and he's the No. 1 pitcher in the rotation, so I don't know,' Hernandez said. ``I don't control that.'
Mike Morse hit his eighth spring home run, connecting in the second off Houston's Henry Villar. Jonathan Van Every added a three-run homer for the Nationals in the eighth.
Ivan Rodriguez had two of Washington's 11 hits.
Hernandez was 10-12 in 33 starts last season. He has started 445 games, tops among active pitchers unless Jamie Moyer or Andy Pettitte come out of retirement.
Hernandez's 166 wins rank sixth, and he's hoping to move up on that chart.
``I'm not done in baseball, I feel good,' he said. ``I feel much better, and I still feel hungry to prove to people that I'm not finished.
``I had a good year last year and proved to people I can continue pitching. I want to pitch for four more years and it's going to happen.'
The Associated Press News Service
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