Felix throws well, Ichiro notches three hits in win

Felix throws well, Ichiro notches three hits in win

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez threw three shutout innings and Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, as Seattle topped the Reds 8-6 in Cactus League play on Tuesday at Peoria Stadium.

The Mariners improved to 4-1 this spring, as they are off to a quick start in preparation for their early season-opening series in Tokyo on March 28-29.

Center fielder Denis Phipps hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning for the Reds, but they weren't able to overcome an early five-run deficit and wound up with their first loss in three Cactus League games.

Cincinnati right-hander Mat Latos, making his first start since being acquired by trade from the Padres in the offseason, threw a pair of scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and a walk, but Seattle pushed across five runs in the third inning against reliever Brett Tomko.

Latos allowed all three of his baserunners in the first, but emerged unscathed after Ichiro was thrown out in a rundown. Ichiro, who reached on a "sun" single that dropped into left field, attempted to go to third on a single by Justin Smoak after teammate Munenori Kawasaki had been held up there by third base coach Jeff Datz.

Latos retired Mike Carp on a deep drive to right-center to get out of that jam, and then zipped through a 1-2-3 second inning before being replaced by Tomko.

"It was exciting to get in there and have live hitters up there swinging," Latos said.

Tomko got in trouble quickly, giving up a single to Adam Moore and walking Chone Figgins. Kawasaki then dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but the Reds didn't have anyone covering first and everyone was safe to load the bases.

Ichiro drove in a run with a single, and Smoak followed with a deep drive off the glove of center fielder Daryl Jones. The play was ruled a sacrifice fly and error on Jones, with two runs scoring and Smoak winding up at second and Ichiro at third. Mike Carp and Casper Wells then followed with sacrifice flies to give Seattle a 5-0 lead.

Hernandez, who will be the Opening Day starter in Tokyo, made his first Cactus League start a good one. After hitting leadoff hitter Kristopher Negron in the back with his first pitch, the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner retired the next nine batters with four strikeouts before calling it a day.

"This was the first time I've been in against hitters, and I felt pretty good," said Hernandez, who threw 35 pitches and said he'll likely extend to about 65 in his next outing, which will be on Sunday against the Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ichiro, batting in his new No. 3 spot in the lineup, had three singles to raise his spring average to .429. Catcher Adam Moore continued swinging a hot bat with a 2-for-2 day that included a two-run double. He's now 4-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs in early Cactus League play.

Reds outfielder Donald Lutz launched a leadoff home run off of Mariners Rule 5 reliever Lucas Luetge in the eighth.

Up next for Mariners: Blake Beavan makes his second Cactus League start on Wednesday, when the Mariners face the Angels at 12:05 p.m. PT in Tempe. The 23-year-old won Friday's spring opener over the A's while giving up one run and four hits in 2 1/3 innings as he bids to earn one of Seattle's rotation berths. Charlie Furbush, Jeff Marquez, Mauricio Robles, Scott Patterson and Matt Fox are also scheduled to pitch.

Up next for Reds: Much of the Reds regular lineup will be playing when the Reds host the Padres at 3:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Goodyear Ballpark. Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, Joey Votto and Scott Rolen will all start. Bronson Arroyo will get the ball in his first start of the spring.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.