Felix Hernandez sharp, throws six scoreless vs Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Mariners starter Felix Hernandez allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings in his first start back with the team since returning from the World Baseball Classic.

"Not bad," Hernandez said. "It was good. Good stuff. I was around some. Up and down. Down and in with command. Lot of strikes. Pitched to contact. It was really good."

Hernandez retired the first 11 batters he faced before Jarrett Parker slipped a weak ground ball inside the third base bag for a double against Seattle's defensive shift. He answered by getting Chris Marrero to ground out to shortstop Tyler Smith to end the inning.

It was far from the Giants' opening day lineup. Joe Panik and Parker were the only regular starters in the lineup against the Mariners on Thursday night. Nevertheless, Hernandez has now worked 11 consecutive scoreless innings split between Thursday night's performance and his last outing in the WBC last week against the United States.

"It was really good," Hernandez said of his pitching rhythm. "That was a good balance, a good rhythm. It was really good. I'm happy for that."

Hernandez pitched five scoreless innings with three hits allowed and three strikeouts for Venezuela against the United States a week ago. In just three spring training starts for Seattle, Hernandez is carrying a 2.45 ERA.

"He threw the ball really well," manager Scott Servais said. "Some of the things he was working on in his outing in WBC he just took into tonight's game and good to see. The curveball, moved the fastball around, elevated it when he needed to and he's always got the good changeup so he's in a good spot right now.

It was Hernandez's longest outing of the spring as well.

"I feel fine," Hernandez said. "I could have gone another inning but they wanted me to throw six."

Hernandez said he'll likely dial it back in his last spring outing and throw around three innings or so before making the opening day start for the Mariners against the Houston Astros on April 3.

The Mariners won the game 9-2 over the Giants as Ben Gamel hit a two-run home run off Cory Gearrin, Taylor Motter drove in two more and Mike Zunino went 1-for-2 with a ground-rule double, a pair of walks and a run scored.

Photo Credit: PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 05: Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch in the first inning of the spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Peoria Stadium on March 5, 2017 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

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