PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Felix Hernandez deflected questions about his falling fastball velocity with a smile.
``I was throwing everything. Curveballs, sliders, changeups,' the Mariners ace said after the Seattle Mariners' 7-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday. ``It's spring training, man . I feel good.'
Hernandez threw four shutout innings, striking out six. His fastball was tracked as high as 91 mph, according to MLB.com's pitch tracker. Last year he averaged 93.3 mph, according to fangraphs.com.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge said Hernandez's speed is not an issue for him.
``He's a pitcher first and foremost,' Wedge said. ``The life he has on the baseball, that's what matters.'
Mariners catcher Jesus Montero was hit in the helmet by Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona - he was reassigned to minor league camp Sunday - in the sixth inning. Montero was taken out of the game but appeared to be no more than shaken.
After gathering himself, a visibly angry Montero shouted at fellow Venezuelan Escalona as he was helped off the field. Escalona shouted back but the situation was diffused.
``Got him in the fat part of the helmet, so that's the good thing,' Wedge said. ``He seems OK. Anytime you get hit in that region, you get upset.'
On Sunday, Cleveland's Ubaldo Jimenez hit former Colorado teammate Troy Tulowitzki. Jimenez was suspended five games and is appealing.
Tulowitzki received treatment and remains on track to start the regular season, though he didn't play Monday. Also, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, scratched from Sunday's lineup because of flulike symptoms, returned to action Monday and was hitless in three at_bats.
Ichiro Suzuki hit an RBI double off Rockies starter Jamie Moyer.
``I've accomplished some things for myself, just knowing where I am and going through a spring training,' Moyer said. ``Now it's all for keeps, so it's go out there, be prepared and that makes it a little bit easier.
``It's about getting through a season, it's about contributing not only on the field but off the field,' Moyer added. ``There's a fair amount of youth on this ball club and I feel like I can share a lot.'
Brendan Ryan had three hits and drove in a run in the three-run fourth, an inning aided by a Colorado error.
Hernandez, who made a regular-season start in Japan, pitches next on Saturday in Oakland. He threw 57 pitches Monday.
``I was tired, too. It was a long flight (from Japan). Still tired,' Hernandez said.
NOTES: Rockies OF Michael Cuddyer remained out for a third straight game with a hand bruise after being hit with a pitch. . The Rockies optioned RHP Alex White to the minors Monday. White will stay on the major league roster until Wednesday. . Designated hitter Carlos Peguero was back with the Mariners and in Monday's lineup after dealing with illness Sunday. Among the three other players who have the same flulike symptoms, LHP George Sherrill played some catch in the morning but was sent home, OF Michael Saunders was sent home before the pregame workout and 2B Dustin Ackley took batting practice but didn't play in the game. . Ackley and Saunders are expected to play Tuesday, but the latest illness victim is starting pitcher Hector Noesi, Wedge said. ... Tuesday's starter for the Mariners will be young RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who has a 1.29 ERA in seven innings this spring.
The Associated Press News Service
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