- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Felix Hernandez pitched five strong innings and rookie outfielder Stefen Romero homered and drove in three runs and the Seattle Mariners beat the Kansas City Royals 9-6 Tuesday night.

In his final tuneup before starting the Monday opener, Hernandez allowed three runs and five hits, walked none and struck out six. He allowed two runs and three hits in the first inning, but little after that.

“I saw everything that I wanted to see,” Hernandez said. “Every pitch was working really good. In the first inning, I was up a little bit and missed a couple of pitches, but I was fine. I was really concentrating.”

He threw 67 pitches.

“They asked me if I wanted one more inning and I said that’s good enough for me,” Hernandez said. “I’ll be ready for 100 or whatever next time. I feel fresh.”

Romero, who went 3 for 5, hit a two-run homer in the Mariners’ six-run third and had an RBI single in the fourth. Brad Miller had three hits, including two doubles, to raise his average to .436. Miller leads the Cactus League with 27 hits, 14 for extra bases. Mike Zunino also homered for the Mariners.

Royals left-hander Bruce Chen allowed nine runs and 11 hits, including two homers, and two walks in four innings, throwing 92 pitches.

Alex Gordon homered, doubled and drove in three Royals runs.


Mariners: Hernandez will make his seventh opening day start on Monday, breaking the Mariners’ record held by Randy Johnson, who started five.

“Not bad (company), a great pitcher,” Hernandez said. “He’s going to be in Hall of Fame. It is always fun on opening day, always on national TV, a lot of eyes on you, so you’ve got to do good.”

Royals: Chen finishes spring training with a 0-4 record and 7.27 ERA, allowing 16 runs, 14 earned, and 25 hits, including four home runs, in 17 1-3 innings.

“I can go over there and feel bad about this outing and not be ready for the season,” Chen said. “Or I can just say, ‘you know what, I got my pitches down.’ Hopefully, I can keep building up and be ready for the season.”


Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was ejected by plate umpire Brian Hertzog in the third inning after being called out on strikes for the second time.

Story Continues →