Hernandez, the Mariners’ top pitching prospect, got off to a spectacular start in the major leagues after his promotion from Triple-A Tacoma on Aug. 3, going 3-2 with a 1.59 ERA in his first seven starts.
However, the 19-year-old right-hander has struggled in his last two outings, allowing a combined 11 runs and 15 hits in 10 innings to post consecutive losses.
He gave up five runs and eight hits in a career-low three innings, striking out four but walking three in a 5-3 defeat to Texas Friday.
“He didn’t have command of anything,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “It wasn’t a good night for Felix.”
Hernandez, one of the most publicized young pitchers in the majors, admits he has a lot more to learn about pitching in the majors.
“Baseball is a tough game,” he said. “I tried to throw my breaking ball, but nothing seemed to work so I was behind in the count a lot. And when I threw the fastball, they hit it and it found holes. Tonight was one of those nights when nothing seemed to work.”
Hernandez will try to contain Toronto slugger Vernon Wells, who is batting .375 (12-for-32) with three homers and 11 RBIs in his last eight games. The All-Star center fielder hit a two-run home run and Gregg Zaun also homered as the Blue Jays evened the series with a 6-4 victory Tuesday.
Wells finished 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and scored three runs for Toronto, which is just 3-5 on its 10-game homestand.