Oakland, CA – Felix Hernandez, who signed a big contract in the offseason, tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings to help the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics, 2-0, in the season opener for both teams on Monday.
Hernandez (1-0), who inked a seven-year, $175 million deal, gave up three hits while striking out eight for the Mariners, who went 75-87 last season. The right-hander went 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA over 33 appearances in 2012.
Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run single in the fifth inning for Seattle, which increased its Opening Day winning streak to seven.
Brett Anderson (0-1) allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings for the Athletics, who captured their first AL West title since 2006 last year. The left-hander fanned six and walked four.
Oakland, which lost to the Tigers in the ALDS last season, has dropped nine straight season openers, which is the longest Opening Day losing streak in American League history.
Hernandez was dominant on the mound early, retiring the first 10 batters he faced. John Jaso, who played for the Mariners last season, finally got a hit for Oakland with a one-double in the fourth. However, Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes grounded out to end the frame.
The Mariners scored the only two runs they would need in the fifth. With one out, Dustin Ackley walked and Brendan Ryan singled. Ryan went to second on the throw to third, and Gutierrez knocked in both runners with a single to center.
The A's had a great chance to score in the eighth. Hernandez retired the first two batters before giving up a double to Seth Smith. After walking Eric Sogard, Hernandez was replaced by Charlie Furbush. Coco Crisp worked a walk to load the bases. Stephen Pryor came in from the bullpen and got pinch-hitter Derek Norris to ground into a fielder's choice.
Tom Wilhelmsen, who had 29 saves in 2012, worked around a two-out walk in the ninth to pick up the save.
The Athletics fell to 52-61 in season openers ... Seattle improved to 22-15 in openers ... Anderson made only six regular-season starts in 2012 after coming back from Tommy John surgery and then later being bothered by an oblique injury. Still, he went 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA ... Oakland won 12 of its 19 matchups with the Mariners last season.