Hernandez stars in Mariners' win over Brewers
TUCSON, Ariz.—Felix Hernandez is ready for the regular season.
The Seattle Mariners ace limited Milwaukee to one hit in six scoreless innings in his next-to-last outing before Seattle leaves for Japan, helping the Mariners beat the Brewers 6-1 in a split-squad game.
He struck out six and walked one. The hit he allowed was a single to Caleb Gindl with one out in the fourth inning.
"You've got to get your pitch count up, and that's what we did today, and it was good," said Hernandez, who threw 80 pitches. "I was throwing all my pitches, and they were working pretty good."
Brewers starting pitcher Marco Estrada allowed three runs and five hits in three innings.
The Mariners' Alex Liddi hit a two-run home run. Dustin Ackley finished with three doubles.
Hernandez will make a final spring training start Wednesday before the Mariners depart for Japan on Thursday.
Seattle will play two exhibition games against Japanese teams before opening the season on March 28 against the Oakland A's in Tokyo.
The Brewers played without any of their regular position players. Milwaukee was also playing a split-squad game against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise.
"They're professional baseball players," Hernandez said of the lineup he faced. "Try to make good pitches and just get them out."
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Hernandez will throw around 100 pitches in his final spring start.
"Felix threw the ball very well today," Wedge said. "We got him up to right around 80 pitches, which is where we wanted to get him. He did a nice job today."
Estrada struck out two and walked two. He could fill in for an injured starter for the Brewers rotation this season.
"I felt good," Estrada said. "That second inning got me going a little bit. It was a little rough. They hit a couple mistakes I made, but overall I felt really good. I thought I kept the ball down. Not too many balls were hit hard. Had a lot of groundballs today. "
The game was the first of three spring training games played Friday at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson this month. The Mariners and Brewers were playing at the former spring training home of the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks, who now train in the Phoenix area.
"It's a good thing you get to bring a few games down here for the fans here of Tucson," Wedge said. "It's been a part of spring training for a long time. It's not that way anymore. But it's nice to still come down here and play a few good games."
The Mariners split squad plays the A's in Phoenix.
NOTES: The Mariners' Daniel Carroll lost a flyball in the sun in the seventh inning, and the ball fell in for a double by Brooks Conrad. Wedge said the ball hit off Carroll's glove and then his jaw, but Carroll was fine. After the double, the Brewers scored their run after a fly out and groundout. .The Mariners will possibly make roster decisions this weekend. The team will likely take about 30 players to Japan next week. "We're headed that way," Wedge said. "We'll see where we're at after tonight's game and talk about it tomorrow and then go from there."