The Seattle Mariners are 2-0 in games Felix Hernandez has started this young season, but their ace hasn't had a decision yet.
Making his ninth career start against Detroit - the team against whom he made his major league debut on Aug. 4, 2005 - Felix is 5-2 with a 2.68 earned run average agains the Tigers.
Of course, pitching hasn't been the problem in his first two starts. Runs have, and the Mariners have scored only three behind him in each of his games. Both times, they scored after he departed for the win.
It's Felix vs. Jeremy Bonderman, the Mariners (4-6) vs. the Tigers (6-3).
- Felix has one of those first innings - 10 pitches, two strikeouts, a quick 1-2-3 start. Johnny Damon went down chasing a 95 mph fastball up and away. Yikes!
- Between them, Ichiro and Chone Figgins made Bonderman throw them 13 pitches, eventually walking Figgins, who stole second base. The Mariners stranded him, but Bonderman threw 21 first-inning pitches.
- On the 3-2 fastball that struck out Carlos Guillen, the Safeco Field radar gun had Felix at 97 mph. Another 1-2-3 inning.
- Ok, Felix has it working - the fastball, the slider, everything moving. In the third inning, Tigers went down in order - that's nine in a row - and added two strikeouts to Felix's total. He's at five.
- Ichiro's two-out single in the third is the first hit of the game, and Bonderman was so concerned with keeping him on first he threw away his second pickoff attempt - putting Ichiro at second base. As Figgins took ball four, Ichiro stole third without a throw. Franklin Guitierrez tripled both runners home. Jose Lopez singled in Gutierrez. In the third: Seattle 3, Detroit 0.
- Austin Jackson led off the fourth with a single on a tricky looper Figgins tried to bare hand and couldn't. Johnny Damon singled Jackson to third. Magglio Ordonez lined out, but Damon took second on a passed ball charged to Rob Johnson. Miguel Cabrera doubled both runners home. Long inning for Felix, who gets out of it with his sixth strikeout. In the fourth: Seattle 3, Detroit 2.
- Casey Kotchman walked, Johnson bunted safely and Jack Wilson bunted, too - with catcher Gerald Laird throwing the ball away for a run-scoring error. With runners on first and third base, Ichiro popped out. Figgins' sacrifice fly scored Johnson. After four: Seattle 5, Detroit 2.
- Lopez, Ken GriffeyJr. and Milton Bradley singled consecutively to open the fifth, adding an insurance run. Kotchman singled to load the bases. Johnson drew a 10-pitch walk for another run. Wilson flied out, Bradley scoring. Ichiro singled to score Kotchman. Figgins drew his third walk. Gutierrez singled home Johnson. Lopez flied out, Ichiro scored. Seattle 11, Detroit 2.
- Felix worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning, struck out his eighth batter. The kid can pitch.
- As he approaches 100 pitches - he's at 99 - Felix is tiring and the Mariners have Sean White ready in the bullpen. If he gets through the seventh, Mr. Hernandez will be done for the night.
- That's it. Felix lasted 6 2/3 innings and left with runners at second and third base. He tipped his cap as he went. White ended the seventh. Seattle 11, Detroit 2.
- Season highs in hits (12), runs (11) and winning streak - which has now reached three. After going 2-6 on the their first trip, the Mariners are now 3-1 on their first home stand. It's a final: Seattle 11, Detroit 3.