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.
“The first at-bat there were a couple of pitches that I wasn’t happy about,” Hosmer said. “The second at-bat the last pitch I wasn’t happy about it. We had a discussion after the first one. On the second one, I stood in the box and the umpire said I stared him down.
“So he decided to tell me where the pitch was again, that it was on the plate. I got a little upset because I didn’t say anything and he said something to me. Then he asked me kindly to leave the park and that’s what I did.”
Mariners: Right-hander Taijuan Walker, who is building up after being slowed by a tender right shoulder, threw 48 pitches, 36 for strikes, in three-innings in a minor league game.
Royals: Omar Infante, who had a bone spur in his right elbow, had five at-bats and made two throws from second base in five innings in a minor league game. Infante will play in minor league games Wednesday and Thursday. If he feels good after that, Royals manager Ned Yost said he would fly to Milwaukee and play in exhibition games Friday and Saturday.
MARINERS RELEASE VETERAN TRIO
The Mariners cut veterans left-hander Randy Wolf, outfielder Endy Chavez and catcher Humberto Quintero, all non-roster invitees. Wolf, 37, had a career 132-117 record with a 4.20 ERA in 376 big league games. He is trying to bounce back from his second Tommy John surgery. Chavez, 36, signed with Tacoma, the Mariners’ Triple-A club, after he was told he would not make the major league club. Quintero, 34, hit .224 in 22 games last year with the Mariners.
ROYALS PICK UP LEFTY
The Royals plucked left-handed pitcher Patrick Schuster, 23, off waivers Tuesday from the Padres. Schuster went 0-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 55 relief appearances last year with Visalia. The Royals designated for assignment outfielder Carlos Peguero to make room for Schuster on the 40-man roster.
The Royals also optioned second baseman Johnny Giavotella, who hit .341 in 21 games to Triple-A Omaha. The Royals also moved catcher Adam Moore, who was assigned Monday to minor league camp, to the Padres for cash.