Final in 8

Mariners 1

(8-13, 5-6 away)

Indians 3

(13-6, 6-2 home)

    4:05 PM ET, March 25, 2010

    Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, AZ 

    123456789 R H E
    SEA 010000000 1 - -
    CLE 10001100 - 3 - -

    Indians 3, Mariners 1(8)

    Associated Press

    GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez feels very strong, and that's good news for the Seattle Mariners.

    Hernandez struck out seven over five innings in a Seattle split squad's 3-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

    "I felt too strong today," Hernandez said after walking four but allowing only three hits and two runs -- one earned -- in his third spring outing.

    "The breaking ball was good, the sinker was great, but a couple pitches were just this much off," the right-hander said, holding his fingers less than an inch apart.

    Travis Hafner had two hits and scored a run for Cleveland, which got four scoreless innings of relief from Aaron Laffey.

    Hernandez is on track for his Opening Day assignment. "King Felix" may be without two key members of his court for awhile, however, with left-handers Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard sidelined.

    Lee threw lightly for about five minutes on the outfield grass Thursday morning at the Mariners' camp and said he still felt a strain in his abdominal muscle. He may open the season on the disabled list. Bedard is out until at least June following shoulder surgery.

    Hernandez is ready to carry the load as he did a year ago. He pitched 238 2/3 innings and went 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA in 2009 to earn a five-year, $78 million contract extension.

    "I'm ready for the opener now and I'm excited," Hernandez said.

    "This year they have protected me a little bit and that's OK. I threw a lot of innings (in 2009) because of the World Baseball Classic, but I feel great."

    Hernandez heartily approved teammate Milton Bradley trying to bowl over catcher Lou Marson to try and score from third base on a ground ball. He ran into Marson with both arms in front of him like an NFL offensive lineman, but Cleveland's rookie held on.

    "That was pretty good," Hernandez said. "He always plays hard."

    Bradley, often involved in altercations during his career -- including 2001-03 in Cleveland -- said he just ran on contact.

    "There were no ill intentions," he said. "That's the only way to play the game. If it was anybody else, nobody would notice."

    Indians manager Manny Acta said: "That's what he's supposed to do. I was more pleased with the play by Jhonny (Peralta) at third base. That was a tough scoop and throw home."

    Indians starter David Huff gave up five hits and one run -- a homer by Jack Wilson -- over 4 1/3 innings. The left-hander walked three, including two when he loaded the bases in the fourth. Huff, who led Cleveland with 11 wins as a rookie in 2009, then got Corey Patterson to hit into an inning-ending double play.

    "David obviously wanted to throw more strikes," Acta said. "He put men on but made pitches when he needed to make them."

    Laffey, battling for a roster spot as either a starter or long man out of the bullpen, impressed Acta with his sinker.

    "He threw a lot of first-pitch strikes, got grounders, and let the defense do the job behind him."

    Cleveland scored an unearned run in the first inning. Wilson's homer tied it in the second.

    Luis Valbuena walked to open the Indians' fifth, stole second, and scored on a one-out double by Michael Brantley.

    Game notes


    Indians RHP Joe Smith gave up two stolen bases to Bradley and one to Ryan Garko in the fifth. Garko is the active big-leaguer with the most career plate appearances (1,714) without a steal. ... Wilson also beat out a well-placed bunt for a single. ... Seattle optioned 1B Mike Carp to Triple-A Tacoma. ... Indians 1B Russell Branyan played catch and did some light running before the game. Signed to a $2 million free-agent deal in February, Branyan has yet to play.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumGoodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, AZ
    UmpiresHome - Manny Gonzalez