It was a bittersweet day for Seattle Mariners starter Felix Hernandez. He hit a grand slam, as his Seattle Mariners beat the New York Mets 5-2 in the series opener at Shea Stadium Monday night. But he also hurt his left ankle on a play at the plate, and had to be helped off the field in the bottom of the fifth inning.
However, after X-rays came back negative, Hernandez declared he felt fine and would not miss his next start, which would be Sunday at the Padres. Said Hernandez, "I'm going to pitch next time. I'll be there."
Seattle scored four of their five runs in the second inning.
After a two-out single and an error with a man on, Seattle starter Felix Hernandez took Johan Santana's 93 mph first-pitch fastball yard into the right-center field bleachers.
In the fifth, both the Mets and the Mariners (27-49) scored.
In the top half, Mariners center-fielder Willie Bloomquist singled to left field, advanced to second on Hernandez's sacrifice bunt and scored on Jose Lopez's line drive to left field.
In the home half, New York center-fielder Carlos Beltran doubled to left and stole third, his eleventh stolen base of the season. Hernandez then threw a wild pitch. Beltran scored on the play, and Hernandez got injured trying to cover the plate when Beltran slid into him hard.
Hernandez's early exit from the game marked his run of 41 straight starts of at least five innings, the third longest in the majors and in club history.
The Mets (37-38) managed another run in the ninth when second baseman Luis Castillo beat out the throw from second on a potential double play. Third baseman David Wright then walked, and a batter later Beltran singled home Castillo.
Hernandez (6-5, 2.83 ERA) went 4.2 innings and gave up one earned run on two hits. He struck out two. But because of his premature exit from the contest, he didn't earn the win.
Instead reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-1, 2.79 ERA) got the W, going two innings and fanning three.
Arthur Rhodes registered the save, his first of the year. In .2 innings he set two down on strikes.
Santana suffered his sixth loss of the year (7-6, 2.93 ERA), surrendering five runs (1 earned) on seven hits - one of which was the homer - in seven innings. In addition he gave two free passes and struck out four.
Seattle's probable starter for today's second game of the series is knuckleballer RA Dickey (1-3, 5.77 ERA). He will be making his third start of the year. New York's probable starter is Oliver Perez (5-4. 5.06 ERA).