HOUSTON (AP) — Felix Hernandez vowed Saturday that his first-ever stint in Seattle’s bullpen won’t last long.“I’ll be a starter before the end of the year http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-j.-d.-martinez-jersey ,” Hernandez told The Associated Press. “No question about it.”The struggling Mariners ace has made 398 career starts in 14 seasons, never once pitching in relief. He was bumped from the rotation on Thursday night, the latest setback in a tough year in which he has a career-high 5.73 ERA and is 0-4 in his last five starts.For the longtime face of this franchise, it was difficult to digest the team’s decision to have him pitch in relief and he said it took him a couple of days to come to terms with it. Conversations with family and friends and encouragement from his wife Sandra, who he has been with since he was 14, helped.“My wife is here. She flew here,” Hernandez said. “We had a good conversation. And she told me: ‘Just go out there and be the leader that you’ve been all these years. Be you. Be you.'”And that, Hernandez said, is exactly what he plans to do. Though the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner sees this only as a temporary setback David Ross Jersey , he’s prepared to embrace his new role for the good of a team that’s in contention to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001.“I’m just part of the team and I’m going to do whatever’s possible to help the team,” he said.The 32-year-old Hernandez is 8-10 with a 5.73 ERA in 23 starts for a Mariners team chasing a playoff spot.Hernandez, who has the fourth-most starts in MLB history without a relief appearance, has spent two games in the bullpen, but has yet to appear in a game. He shared his first impressions of the experience.“It’s boring. I’m telling you,” he said with a laugh.Both nights he’s trotted with closer Edwin Diaz to the bullpen in left-center field at Minute Maid Park, where the Mariners are playing the AL West-leading Astros. Hernandez said he’s picked his brain about relieving, but he’s far from the only one he’s reached out to for advice on the move.“I’ve been talking with everyone in the bullpen him, Alex Colome Steve Cishek Jersey , everybody,” he said. “(They said) just go out there and have fun.”Hernandez pointed out that he’s appeared in the All-Star game several times out of the bullpen, but admitted that he “might need some time” to get warmed up to enter a game.He said the team didn’t tell him anything specific that they need to see from him for him to get his starting job back, but he knows that he’ll have to improve his fastball command to turn things around.“The problem is my location of the fastball,” he said. “If I locate my fastball, I’ll be good because I’ve got many weapons to go out there and have good games so I have to locate my fastball.”Hernandez said he believes the problem is mechanical and said he’s trying several different things to try and get back on track.When facing reporters following his recent tough starts, including his last one against Texas in which he allowed a career-high 11 runs — seven of them earned — he seemed discouraged and a bit down.It was a different Hernandez who spoke on Saturday. It wasn’t quite the King Felix who threw a perfect game in 2012 and led the AL in ERA in both 2010 and 2014. But there were unmistakable notes of the swagger and bravado that were hallmarks of the presence he had on the mound when he was one of the game’s most dominant pitchers.He smiled easily and cracked jokes, his glossy ringlets bouncing around as he laughed. He said instead of getting mad about the move or letting it hurt his feelings, he’s using it as motivation.“All it does is encourage me to get back Drew Smyly Jersey ,” he said before flashing one last smile. Few starters in baseball have needed as little cushion this year as St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas. Monday night’s 11-6 victory in Atlanta upped his record to 16-0 when receiving two or more runs of support.Mikolas gets the call Sunday when St. Louis tries to bolster its National League wild-card playoff hopes with a series sweep of the San Francisco Giants in Busch Stadium.St. Louis leads Colorado by 1 1/2 games for the final wild-card spot. The Cardinals also edged within two games of Milwaukee for the first wild-card and are 4 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central lead.Article continues below ...Mikolas (16-4, 3.01 ERA) has been perhaps the best value signing of the offseason. Skepticism abounded when the Cardinals (86-69) inked him to a two-year, $15.5 million deal after three successful seasons in Japan. After all, Mikolas looked like bottom of the staff material while posting a 6.44 ERA in10 starts in 2014 with Texas.But Mikolas has surprised the skeptics, averaging just over six innings a start and making every turn in the rotation. He has fewer walks (29) than starts (30) and could lead the NL in wins if he winds up on the upside of his last two starts.“I’ve been fortunate than when I pitch, we have great offense and we’ve put up runs and we play great defense and everything has come together,” Mikolas said to mlb.com after his victory in Atlanta. “It’s been a great season for me.”Mikolas will make his fifth career appearance against San Francisco, although it will be his first as a starter. He has no record and a 1.69 ERA in 5 1/3 innings.St. Louis pulled out a dramatic 5-4, 10-inning victory Saturday over San Francisco to move one step closer to its first playoff spot since 2015. Yadier Molina’s two-run homer in the seventh inning erased a 4-2 deficit and Tyler O’Neill’s tape-measure blast with two outs in the 10th supplied the Cardinals their 11th walk-off win of the year.San Francisco (72-83) has nothing left on its plate beside contractual obligation and statistical incentives. The Giants have battled the Cardinals hard in the series’ first two games http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-drew-storen-jersey , but their bullpen has let them down, as has often been the case this year.Rookie left-hander Andrew Suarez (7-11, 4.24 ERA) takes the ball for San Francisco, looking to build on two straight quality starts. Suarez picked up a 4-2 win on Monday night in San Diego, working 7 2/3 innings and allowing two runs and four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. This will be his first career outing against the Cardinals.St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong, who left Friday night’s game after seven innings after he suffered cramps in both hamstrings, could be available for Sunday’s game.