Runelvys Hernandez made an impressive return from reconstructive elbow surgery in his first start of the season.
Hernandez missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, and the 26-year-old wasn’t sure how sharp he’d be in his first start since Aug. 16, 2003 on Wednesday against Detroit. Apparently, he didn’t have much rust to shake off.
Hernandez allowed one run and five hits over seven strong innings, striking out three and walking three, as the Royals posted their first win of the year, 7-2 over the Tigers.
“I was wondering what I might have,” said Hernandez, who threw 61 of his 100 pitches for strikes. “But you saw today, Hernandez is back. I had good pitches. I was trying to hit the corners. I wasn’t worried about throwing hard, but about location.”
Kansas City manager Tony Pena was equally impressed.
“After the third inning, he was in command,” Pena said. “He threw great. He had a great changeup, slider and curve.”
The Royals took two of three from the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend, including Sunday’s 8-3 victory.
The Mariners suffered a 7-6 loss to Texas on Sunday, dropping to 2-4 on their season-opening homestand.
Richie Sexson drove in a pair of runs for Seattle, which has lost four of five since an opening day victory over Minnesota.