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.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale made a hasty exit from his final Grapefruit League outing on Saturday after sustaining a left hip contusion. He was struck on the leg with a line drive from the Astros’ J.D. Davis in the first inning and immediately collapsed on the mound. He was able to walk off the field without a noticeable limp, however, and later told reporters that the ball struck a nerve and temporarily stunned his leg. As a precautionary move, the Red Sox pulled him after the incident and will have the left-hander undergo X-rays to rule out any further injury to his hip.
This was expected to be Sale’s last start of spring training. Prior to Saturday’s matinee against the Astros, the 28-year-old southpaw made three starts in camp, allowing five runs, one home run, three walks and striking out 18 batters in 14 innings. He’s still on track to start the season for the Red Sox during their road opener against the Rays next Thursday.