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Felix not satisfied with effort in first spring start

Mariners ace works out of early jam, tosses two scoreless innings vs. LA

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez threw two scoreless innings with two hits in his Cactus League debut on Tuesday in the Mariners' 4-1 victory over the Dodgers, but said he's got some work to do as he moves forward this spring.

"I'm OK. Not too happy, but I'm OK," Hernandez said after his 29-pitch outing, which included a leadoff double to Yasiel Puig in the first and a single by Juan Uribe in the second.

Hernandez's unhappiness stemmed over his inability to control his normally lethal changeup.

"My changeup wasn't working," Hernandez said. "I threw it a lot of times and it was garbage. It was bad."


"Probably the feel, probably the adrenaline, probably the first game," Hernandez said.

So the Mariners' ace wasn't perfect in his initial Cactus League appearance, but he still kept the Dodgers off the scoreboard in his two frames. After Puig ripped his first pitch -- a fastball -- to left-center for a double, Hernandez walked Carl Crawford on four pitches.

But he said he was intentionally pitching around Crawford to set up the double play, and that ploy worked to perfection when Hanley Ramirez promptly grounded into a twin killing before he struck out Andre Ethier to strand Puig at third.

Having a chance to work out of a jam got his competitive juices flowing. And for a first spring game, that was something to work off of as well.

"Always. It's always going to be like that," Hernandez said after bearing down. "I'm going to try to get them out, try not to let them score any runs and that's what I did."

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.

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