Felix Hernandez made his first start of spring training look like … well … most any first start of any spring.
Two innings, one a 1-2-3 breeze and the other a labored effort in which he allowed a two-run home run to Padres catcher Henry Blanco.
Still, Hernandez left the game with a 3-2 lead because of the Mariners again played small ball well.
In a three-run second inning, Chris Shelton homered, Mike Wilson and Chris Woodward doubled back-to-back and, after Woodward stole third, he scored on an error.
Had Woodward been at second base, not third, he wouldn’t have scored.
Of course, Reegie Corona was then caught stealing – but clearly the Mariners aren’t a wait-around team.
As for Felix, this was a build-a-little-arm-strength outing, and near the end he looked tired. First time out, most everyone does.
Bottom line: 23 pitches thrown – only four in the first inning – almost all fastballs. Hernandez has matured to the point where he’s getting in shape, not trying to impress anyone.