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Servais expects more from Felix before return

Mariners ace aiming to improve timing in rehab stint
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez is scheduled to start Sunday for Triple-A Tacoma in the second game of his rehab stint, but Mariners manager Scott Servais indicated the veteran right-hander will need to throw better than his two-inning, five-run performance Tuesday before he's back in the rotation.

The 31-year-old has been sidelined since April 25 with bursitis in his right shoulder. Hernandez said he felt fine physically in Tuesday's game against Reno, but his timing was off as he allowed four hits, including a grand slam, and two walks. Servais noted that wasn't unusual coming off a lengthy absence, but he also isn't ready to ignore the results.

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SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez is scheduled to start Sunday for Triple-A Tacoma in the second game of his rehab stint, but Mariners manager Scott Servais indicated the veteran right-hander will need to throw better than his two-inning, five-run performance Tuesday before he's back in the rotation.

The 31-year-old has been sidelined since April 25 with bursitis in his right shoulder. Hernandez said he felt fine physically in Tuesday's game against Reno, but his timing was off as he allowed four hits, including a grand slam, and two walks. Servais noted that wasn't unusual coming off a lengthy absence, but he also isn't ready to ignore the results.

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"I think it's important that when Felix does come back active for us that we feel good he can go out and give us six to seven innings," Servais said. "The comment I made with him, we've had guys come up and do an awesome job stepping in. [Sam] Gaviglio and [Christian] Bergman have given us a boost with what they've been able to do.

"But typically what you're looking for from those guys is keep us in the game for five innings. Sometimes we'll get more than that, Bergman has certainly given us more than that. But that's kind of what Gaviglio has given us and when Felix comes back, we're looking for somebody to give us a little more than that. So I'd want him to be in a good situation where we and he felt he could do that."

Worth noting

Mitch Haniger went 0-for-3 for Tacoma on Wednesday while playing six innings in right field during his second rehab outing as he returns from a strained right oblique. Haniger is slated to play a full game at DH on Thursday and be back in the outfield on Friday as he works toward rejoining the Mariners.

• Outfielder Kyle Lewis, last year's first-round Draft pick and the Mariners' No.1 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, has nearly recovered from last year's knee surgery and is expected to begin playing Sunday for either Class A Advanced Modesto or Class A Clinton, general manager Jerry Dipoto said.

• Right-handed reliever Shae Simmons had a setback after throwing a bullpen session two weeks ago as he works in Arizona recovering from a Spring Training elbow injury. But Simmons is starting to throw again now as he attempts to restart his comeback bid.

Hisashi Iwakuma played catch Wednesday and is tentatively slated to throw his second simulated game Thursday as he recovers from a sore shoulder that has kept him out since May 3.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez