Felix cleared to make next start on schedule

Seattle ace exited last game with sore quadriceps muscle

Felix cleared to make next start on schedule

LOS ANGELES -- Mariners ace Felix Hernandez will make his next start on schedule Saturday, against the Rangers at Safeco Field, despite a sore quadriceps muscle in his right leg that cut short his last outing.

Hernandez threw a flat-ground session Wednesday, but manager Lloyd McClendon didn't bother waiting for that workout to proclaim the 29-year-old fit for duty this weekend when the Mariners return home.

"My conversation with Felix is he's fine," McClendon said. "He's ready to go."

That means the Mariners will stay in order with their initial rotation. Fifth starter J.A. Happ is lined up for the series opener Friday against new Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo at 7:10 p.m. PT.

Hernandez will take the hill Saturday at 6:10 p.m. PT against right-hander Colby Lewis, with James Paxton drawing the series finale Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PT against Ross Detwiler in a duel of lefties.

Hernandez was taken out of his last start after five innings when his right leg tightened up. He stretched the quad earlier in the game, while covering first on a double play.

The A's racked up eight hits and three runs off Hernandez in his five frames and he departed with a 3-0 deficit, but Seattle came from behind for an 8-7 win in 10 innings. Hernandez is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his first two starts.

The Rangers series kicks off a nine-game homestand for Seattle. If the Mariners stay on their scheduled rotation, Hernandez will pitch April 24 against the Twins before facing Texas again on the road on April 29.

• Catcher Mike Zunino jammed his left wrist on the game-ending tag attempt at the plate in Seattle's 6-5 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday, but said he felt fine Wednesday and was back in the lineup for the series finale. Zunino has played in all of Seattle's first nine games, including eight starts, but McClendon said the young catcher will be fine, with the team having two off-days in the next eight days.

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.