Hernandez's ankle OK for next start
Seattle's No. 1 starter survives scare without setback
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Felix Hernandez, who twisted his right ankle in the first inning of Monday night's regular-season opener but gutted it out over eight frames, was unable to get his usual running in Tuesday, but he's good to go for his next start."The big thing with Felix is he seems OK," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He has a little swelling, but not bad, and we can keep him on track." Hernandez, who held the Twins to one run over eight innings in the Mariners' 6-1 Opening Day victory, had a contraption on his right leg Tuesday that helps circulate the blood and reduces the swelling. He walked onto the field for pregame practice without a noticeable limp. Head athletic trainer Rick Griffin said Hernandez would ride a stationary bike Tuesday instead of the running he does the day after his starts. His between-starts bullpen session set for Wednesday remains on schedule. Hernandez gave the Mariners a scare in the bottom of the first inning when his spikes caught in the artificial turf and caused him to roll his ankle. "I won't share my thoughts on that," general manager Jack Zduriencik said when asked what his reaction was to the incident. "It was not a real good feeling. Let's leave it at that. I can't say what I was thinking. But Felix was sensational." Zduriencik said he was happy for Hernandez and that the hurler made a statement as the No. 1 starter. "To suck it up and go seven more innings was something special," Zduriencik said. It was the first time the Mariners' new GM saw Hernandez pitch a regular-season game. "He has a great delivery, great stuff and is very competitive," Zduriencik said. "But what impressed me was the way he pitched."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.