FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -Mark Hendrickson was chosen by manager Fredi Gonzalez to start the Florida Marlins' season opener March 31 against the New York Mets at Dolphin Stadium.
``He pitched terrific in spring training and he's our veteran guy,'' Gonzalez said. ``The way he's pitched in spring training, he deserves it.''
Through four starts this spring, the 33-year-old has a 1.69 ERA. Through 16 innings, he has allowed 15 hits, two earned runs, walked two and struck out nine. In his last outing, March 18 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the 6-foot-9 lefty gave up three hits in six scoreless innings.
``It's a nice honor. It's not something that many pitchers can say they got an opportunity to do. For me, I'm just going to approach it like any other start,'' Hendrickson said.
One of 11 players to suit up in both the NBA and Major League Baseball, Hendrickson was 4-8 with a 5.21 ERA for the Dodgers in 2007. He signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal with the Marlins in January to add an innings-eating veteran to a young rotation.

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