Felix Hernandez strikes out career-high 15 batters vs. Rays, handed no-decision

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Felix Hernandez was handed a no-decision against the Rays this afternoon, but it was hardly his fault. He was nothing short of fantastic, striking out a career-high 15 batters over seven scoreless innings. He reached 1,800 strikeouts for his career during his dominant outing. The Mariners eventually won the game 5-0.

Hernandez is the second pitcher in MLB to reach 15 strikeouts this season, joining Jon Lester of the Red Sox. King Felix’s previous career-high in strikeouts was 13, which he did on three occasions.

After today’s brilliant effort, Hernandez owns a 2.39 ERA across 14 starts and leads the majors with 106 strikeouts. The Mariners have won two in a row and now sit at a surprising 33-29 on the year.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.