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Felix Hernandez set to start 10th straight opener

SEATTLE -- It's official: Felix Hernandez will be the Seattle Mariners opening-day starter on Thursday for the 10th straight year.

It’s an honor that puts him in an exclusive group of pitchers, many who have plaques in Cooperstown.

"First of all, it's an honor. Ten straight with one team is really, really an honor for me," Hernandez said.

The right-hander was slowed in spring training this year by a line drive that struck him in the pitching arm Feb. 26. It left a deep bruise, but a precautionary X-ray of his forearm was negative.

Hernandez will be on a pitch count of about 80 pitches or five or six innings for the opener.

Manager Scott Servais made the announcement Sunday.

The start will be the 11th of Hernandez' career, but the 10th in a row.