PEORIA, Ariz. -- Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez is ready for business and pitched like it on Thursday. Hernandez, who hasn't appeared in an "A" game since March 16, allowed three runs, two of them solo homers, in five innings of work in the Mariners' split-squad game against the San Diego Padres. He was not involved with the decision. "I threw a lot of strikes," Hernandez said. "They were swinging at the first pitch and they scored two runs on me before I realized it and started mixing it up."
He ended each of his first four innings with a strikeout, stranding four runners. "My [changeup] was unbelievable," Hernandez said. "It's the first time it's been like that. The intensity was there and my arm feels good. I'm ready." Hernandez is scheduled to start against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Safeco Field. The only thing left for him to do was pack up his gear and get ready for the trip to Seattle, via Las Vegas, where the Cubs and Mariners will play on Friday and Saturday. "Every time I take the mound is good fortune for me," he said. The Venezuelan native has made 73 big league starts, winning 30 of them, and he won't turn 22 until the second Monday of the regular season. That 4.43 spring ERA? Forget about it. "I'm ready for business," he said.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.