Surprise, Ariz. Felix Hernandez pitched his way out of trouble in the first. The rest of his outing didn’t go so well.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner gave up six runs in four innings, hurt by some bad luck, and the Seattle Mariners lost, 9-1, to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.
Hernandez yielded nine hits, but four never left the infield, and three runs were unearned after two errors.
He struck out seven and walked two, throwing 56 of his 80 pitches for strikes.
“Eighty pitches is a lot of pitches for four innings,” Hernandez said. “It’s one of those days for everything. They hit everything. I left mostly fastballs in the middle of the plate. That’s why they had that many hits.”
Jarrod Dyson had three infield singles off Hernandez, stole two bases and scored two runs. Billy Butler homered and drove in two runs, and Brayan Pena had three RBIs.
“Dyson can make people upset,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He can make entire defenses upset. He can make pitchers upset. It takes them out of their game.
“That’s a component he brings. That’s what speed do.”
Hernandez was impressed.
“Unbelievable,” Hernandez said. “That leadoff hitter can fly. He got three ground balls and three base hits. Geez, wow. That’s part of baseball.”