Felix Hernandez took the mound for his final begin of the season on Thursday, and sure his final begin for the Seattle Mariners, serenaded by tens of hundreds of yellow-shirted followers chanting his title.

His teammates stayed within the dugout, so King Felix was alone on the mound, elevating his arms, tipping his cap and pumping his fist to the followers earlier than signaling the remainder of the Mariners to return out.

The Mariners had been calling it “Felix Day,” and a number of other hours earlier than the sport, each Mariner on the sphere was carrying a shiny yellow King Felix shirt throughout warm-ups. Retired Mariners icon Ichiro Suzuki joined them for batting follow in one of many shirts. Hernandez’s rooting part, the “King’s Courtroom,” was expanded for the sport.

Hernandez threw a season-high 106 pitches within the recreation, permitting three earned runs and putting out three in 5 1/Three innings pitched. Seattle trailed 3-1 when he was pulled.

Hernandez, 33, was the face of the franchise for a lot of of his 15 years with the staff. He is the Mariners’ all-time chief in wins with 169 and strikeouts with 2,521. However Hernandez’s contract with the Mariners expires after the season and he is not more likely to be re-signed. He’s 1-7 in 14 begins this season with a 6.51 ERA, and hasn’t gained greater than 10 video games since 2016.

So a profession that started within the Pacific Northwest in 2005 when Hernandez was simply 19 is anticipated to return to an finish, in a recreation towards the playoff-contending Oakland Athletics.

Hernandez had a particular relationship with the followers, and can all the time be a Mariners icon. He was arguably the very best pitcher within the American League for a big a part of his time in Seattle, the place he created pleasure and helped make the Mariners related. He introduced them a Cy Younger Award and arguably ought to have gained a second. He additionally delivered an ideal recreation, one in every of 23 in baseball historical past.

“He is been such a giant a part of this group for thus lengthy that you really want him to exit on a excessive observe,” supervisor Scott Servais stated earlier than the sport. “I do know he’ll be fired up tonight and provides us an excellent effort, like he all the time does, and compete in addition to he can.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.