Felix exits start early with tight quad

Felix exits start early with tight quad

OAKLAND -- Felix Hernandez was taken out of Sunday's game against the A's after five innings due to tightness in the quadriceps muscle in his right leg, but the Mariners ace said he's certain he'll be ready for his next start after Seattle came back twice for an 8-7, 10-inning victory at the Coliseum.

"Felix is okay," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "His leg is a little tender. But he should be fine for his next start."

Hernandez had a rough go in his second outing of the season, twisting his right ankle on the very first play when he deflected a grounder back up the middle, retrieved it behind the mound and fired to first to retire Sam Fuld. He said the ankle bothered him throughout the game as he gave up three runs on eight hits, but he stayed in until his quad tightened in the fifth.

He initially felt some tenderness in the leg when stretching for a throw at first on a double-play toss from catcher Mike Zunino that nailed Fuld in the third. When he ran to back up third base on a Fuld double in the fifth, he felt something again and McClendon and trainer Rob Nodine came out to the mound after he walked Billy Butler with two out that inning.

The 29-year-old stayed in after a brief conversation and retired Ike Davis for the third out, then was replaced by reliever Danny Farquhar the following inning.

"I just feel a little tight in my leg," Hernandez said. "I'll be fine."

Hernandez said the ankle affected his ability to finish pitches, but indicated that also wasn't a long-term concern.

"I was OK," he said. "It was not one of my better days. I was just trying to make pitches. I was up, I was not getting ahead of hitters and I was making a lot of mistakes. … I was trying, but I wasn't getting any power from my legs."

McClendon said he felt the ankle definitely impacted Hernandez's performance.

"I thought that affected him quite a bit, his release point and ability to get the ball down," McClendon said. "He just wasn't very sharp after he turned his ankle."

Hernandez left with a 3-0 deficit, but was in position for the victory after Seattle rallied to score four runs in the top of the sixth. But he wound up with a no-decision when closer Fernando Rodney blew a four-run lead in the ninth before Seattle came back to win it in the 10th.

Hernandez thus remains 19-7 with a 2.64 ERA in his career against the A's, including 6-0 with a 2.87 ERA in his last 13 starts at the Coliseum, where he hasn't lost a game since 2008. Hernandez is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his first two starts of 2015, with his next outing scheduled for next weekend, most likely on Saturday, at Safeco against the Rangers.

Does Hernandez expect to be ready by then?

"One hundred percent," he said.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.