PEORIA, Ariz. — Felix Hernandez made his second start of the spring and had mixed results in the Seattle Mariners’ 8-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. Hernandez pitched three innings, yielding two runs on three hits with a hit batter, a walk and four strikeouts. After working a 1-2-3 first inning, Hernandez ran into trouble, loading the bases on the first three hitters he faced. A soft infield ground ball that couldn’t be gloved by Kyle Seager led to the first run scoring, and a sacrifice fly led to another run. Hernandez struck out Jon Jay and Yoan Moncada to escape further damage. He came back to work a 1-2-3 third inning.
“He had a little trouble in the second inning, but he got through it,” manager Scott Servais said.
The Mariners got plenty of hopeful glimpses of their future in the game. Outfielder Jake Fraley had a single and a triple, and Shed Long had an RBI single in his one plate appearance in the game. But it was the eighth inning that will have fans excited. Julio Rodriguez, the Mariners’ No. 4 prospect per Baseball America, made his first appearance in a Cactus League game. In his first at-bat, Rodriguez smoked a line drive off the glove of a diving White Sox shortstop for a single. Kyle Lewis, the Mariners’ No. 8 prospect, followed with a towering two-run homer to left-center. Braden Bishop, the No. 13 prospect, later added a solo homer in the inning.
Servais was also pleased with the two shutout innings from Justin Dunn, saying: “I thought Justin Dunn was outstanding today. He really stood out for me on the mound.”
Player of the game
Lewis now has two homers on the spring. After striking out on some high fastballs in a previous at-bat, he jumped on a breaking ball up in the zone and sent it on to the berm beyond the fence in deep left-center.
“It was a fun day. It’s fun when you get that second group of guys coming in. There’s always something interesting to watch with them.” — Servais.
The Mariners will remain at Peoria Stadium for a second straight game, hosting the Milwaukee Brewers. Touted left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield will get the start for Seattle, while the Brewers will start right-hander Corbin Burnes. Also scheduled to pitch for the Mariners are right-handers Tyler Danish, Shawn Armstrong, Cory Gearrin and Nick Rumbelow and lefty Tommy Milone.
The Mariners will also be playing a B game on the backfield of the complex vs. the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization. Lefty Wade LeBlanc will start that game with top young outfield prospects Jarred Kelenic and Rodriguez expected to play in that game.