Two of the Mariners biggest stars were in action on Thursday night in winter league baseball. Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano are playing in their respective leagues to prepare for the World Baseball Classic.
It was a busy Thursday night in the Caribbean Winter Leagues with a pair of Mariners stars taking the field for the first time in preparation for the World Baseball Classic.
In the Venezuelan winter league, Felix Hernandez made his first start for Navegantes del Magallanes versus Bravos de Margarita at the Estadio Guatamare de Porlamar in Nueva Esparta, Venezuela.
In what was similar to his first spring training start, Hernandez was scheduled to throw two innings or 25-30 pitches. He only threw one inning, giving up two runs on two hits with two walks, two strikeouts, a balk and a wild pitch. He threw 27 pitches with 13 strikes.
The game was streamed on-line and Hernandez looked like a pitcher that hasn’t thrown in a game since September. With hitters already 60 games into their season, they made him work. With Jesus Sucre working as his catcher, Hernandez walked the first batter he faced and then balked him to third. He came back to strike out the next batter and then walked the third hitter he faced. He gave up a RBI single Sean Halton to right field. While facing Jose Osuna, he uncorked a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third. Osuna later singled to right to score another run. Sucre helped Hernandez by throwing out Osuna at second. Hernandez closed out the inning, striking out Oscar Salazar swinging.
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Over in the Dominican Republic winter league, Robinson Cano participated in his first game for Estrellas Orientales — his hometown team. Playing at home at the Estadio Tetelo Vargas in San Pedro de Macorís, Cano went 0-for-4.
Cano grounded out to first in his first at-bat, grounded out to short in his second at-bat, popped out in his third AB and grounded out to the pitcher in his fourth at-bat.