PHOENIX – Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was fortunate to get through his first batter of spring training.
"It was fun," Hernandez said. "It's been a while since I pitched in a big league game, but I feel pretty good. I was down in the zone, throwing a lot of strikes."
Hernandez allowed a run and five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. He threw 53 pitches and had a quick chat with DeJesus while walking back to the dugout after the first inning.
"I was like 'Whoa, first game, man, you're gonna do that?'" Hernandez said he told DeJesus in jest. "It was scary."
Hernandez, who will pitch every five days throughout the rest of spring training, was lifted after giving up a run on Kevin Kouzmanoff's two-out single in the third and walking the last batter he faced.
Right-hander Michael Pineda, a prized rookie who's a strong candidate for the Seattle starting rotation, pitched two scoreless innings with two walks and a strikeout.
He threw 40 pitches, 23 for strikes.
"It's a little difficult (pitching after Hernandez) because he's nasty," Pineda said. "I'm working on the mound. I threw the ball inside, outside. It's OK."
For the A's, Kouzmanoff had two hits and is batting .500 in spring games (6 for 12). Hideki Matsui blooped a single in the first inning for his first hit of spring training (1 for 11), Andy LaRoche hit a two-run home run and starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso allowed one earned run in three innings with two strikeouts.
"He had a good changeup, good fastball, good control," A's manager Bob Geren said of Moscoso, who is competing for a spot in the rotation.
Notes: Mariners C Miguel Olivo's MRI on Sunday revealed a strained abductor muscle, and no timetable has been set for his return. Olivo was injured while running from third base to home on a sacrifice fly on Saturday. Olivo was scheduled to be Seattle's starting catcher after signing as a free agent in the offseason. ... C Adam Moore, among those who could get more playing time with Olivo out, was scratched from the starting lineup for Monday's game and sent home due to illness. Gimenez replaced Moore. ... A's RHP Joey Devine walked four of the five hitters he faced. ... Pitchers Craig Breslow and Andrew Bailey threw batting practice Monday. Breslow was limited with a tight hamstring and Bailey is expected to pitch in a game Thursday.