Felix Hernandez is “100 percent” ready to make his start Saturday against the Angels in Anaheim, Mariners manager Scott Servais said. Hernandez tweaked a groin muscle Monday against the Astros and departed after five innings in what became the first of three consecutive losses to open the season.
“He’s in a pretty good rhythm right now, he feels good about his delivery and he wants to stay with that,” Servais told reporters Wednesday. “So I would expect him to do a little more of that.”
Hernandez will pitch a bullpen session Thursday, three days after allowing two solo home runs in a 3-0 loss. The injury happened while covering first base on a ground ball. Hernandez fanned six and walked none.
News that Hernandez will pitch (on his 31st birthday) helped take a little edge off Seattle’s third consecutive defeat, 5-3 in 13 innings, to the Astros Wednesday night. George Springer won it with a three-run, walk-off homer off reliever Chase De Jong, who started the inning in his major league debut holding a 3-2 lead, thanks to four consecutive walks in the 13th that forced in the go-ahead run.
The Mariners summoned the rookie from AAA Tacoma Monday to replace veteran reliever Dillon Overton, on the paternity list.
The Mariners, 0-3 for the first time since 2004, conclude the Astros series Thursday at 5:10 p.m. before facing the Angels. LHP Ariel Miranda will throw for Seattle opposite RHP Joe Musgrove, facing Seattle for the first time in his career.