Seattle's Hernandez hit hard in final spring start
PEORIA, Ariz.—Forget the outing Wednesday, Felix Hernandez declared he was primed for his next start, on opening day.
"They hit everything I threw," Hernandez said. "I feel strong. I'm ready. I threw 92 pitches and got my work in and I'm ready to go 120 or whatever."
The Mariners leave for Japan Thursday and will play two exhibition games there before a two-game regular-season series against the Oakland Athletics on March 28-29.
"It's time to be serious," Hernandez said.
Hernandez had dominated hitters all spring, posting a 1.38 ERA before Wednesday's start. He gave up seven earned runs and 10 hits in five innings, struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.
"Sometimes it's good to get some of that stuff out of the way while we're down here before it counts," Wedge said. "Everybody's anxious and anticipating tomorrow, and we had a lot of meetings about Japan this morning."
Ichiro Suzuki had two hits, including a solo homer. For the White Sox, Brent Lillibridge hit two doubles off Hernandez. Alexei Ramirez went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
The Mariners had 38 players in camp Wednesday but will take 30 to Japan. They will play two exhibition games against Japanese teams on Saturday and Monday.
The Mariners are expected to bring three Japanese players on the trip --
Kawasaki likely secured a spot on the team, playing second and third base and shortstop and hitting .387 this spring.
"There's much more to do from here on, and that's what I look forward
to doing," he said.
Suzuki hit his second home run of the spring off left-hander Eric Stults in the first inning.
Suzuki is hitting .400 and moved to the third spot in the lineup this spring after batting leadoff nearly all his career.
"He's had a great spring," Wedge said. "He's hitting the ball with authority. We just want him to define that 3 hole, how he sees fit, and it looks like that's what he's doing."
Justin Smoak and Alex Liddi of the Mariners hit doubles.
For the White Sox, Kosuke Fukudome and Eduardo Escobar hit doubles, and Dallas McPherson tripled.
Stults gave up two runs and five hits, struck out two and walked one in four innings.
"I feel like I put myself in a good situation," Stults said. "I feel like I can go either way for them, whether they need a starter or reliever."
NOTES: The Mariners released right-hander Shawn Camp before the game. Camp posted a 2.16 ERA. The 36-year-old is 25-26 with a 4.40 ERA in the majors. "Shawn is going to be in the big leagues with somebody," Wedge said. "Ultimately, when you talk about the options we have and
the depth we have and the way these kids have stepped up a little bit quicker than we anticipated, that's where we are." . Adam Dunn started in left field in place of Dayan Viciedo, who had a tooth pulled. . Before the game, Wedge announced a starting rotation of Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan and Kevin Millwood. .The Minnesota Twins returned right-hander Terry Doyle to the White Sox on Wednesday after they selected him in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft. He was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte. He had a 2.94 ERA in four seasons in the White Sox minor leagues.