Scioscia’s Office: Angels @ Mariners – 7/11/15 7:10pm Pacific

Angels at Mariners

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (47-39, T-1st AL West) @ Seattle Mariners (40-47, 4th AL West)

Safeco Field – Seattle, WA

Weather Forecast @ 1st Pitch: Cloudy, 72F, Wind SSW 8mph, 0% Chance of Rain

Special AL West Standings Statement:

Earlier this afternoon the 1st place Houston Astros fell once again in Tampa Bay by the final score of 3-0. This places the Angels in a virtual tie for 1st place heading into tonight’s game. With the loss, the Astros have dropped to 49-41 while the Angels enter play tonight at 47-39. Means the Astros have 2 more wins, but the Angels have 2 less losses. Technically, the Angels hold a slight edge with a winning percentage of .547 while the Astros are at .544. Nonetheless, the Angels can take sole possession of 1st place with a win in tonight’s game.

Pitching Matchup:

C.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.82 ERA)

C.J. Wilson delivers a pitch during the third inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park on July 5, 2015 (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

C.J. Wilson delivers a pitch during the third inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park on July 5, 2015 (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Even though Wilson has had bad games here & there this season, he has pitched solid overall, especially of late. He’s in the midst of a stretch where he’s won 4 of his last 5 starts, including his last outing Sunday in Arlington. In that game he held the Rangers to 3 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings in a game the Angels won 12-6. In 60 career games (23 starts) against Seattle, Wilson is 16-8 with a 3.33 ERA.

~VS~

Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 7.17 ERA)

Hisashi Iwakuma delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers at Safeco Field on July 6, 2015 (Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images)

Hisashi Iwakuma delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers at Safeco Field on July 6, 2015 (Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images)

Iwakuma, who had been one of the game’s better pitchers since coming over from Japan prior to the 2012 season (3.07 ERA over 524 innings from 2012-2014), has struggled mightily so far in 2015 both with his performance and an injury. Beyond missing 10 weeks with a strained lat muscle, Iwakuma has been torched by the long ball this season, having given up 9 HR in 21 1/3 innings in his 4 starts so far. In his last start Monday against Detroit he gave up 4 solo home runs along with another earned run to make 5 earned runs on 8 hits over 5 innings, but he took a no-decision as the game was tied when he left the game. The Mariner bullpen would go on to give up 7 more runs and the Mariners lost that game 12-5.

Game Notes:

  • Angels center fielder Mike Trout is hitting .214 (6-for-28) with one home run, two RBIs and seven strikeouts in his career against Iwakuma.
  • Mariners catcher Mike Zunino is hitting Wilson at a .313 clip in 16 career at-bats. None of those 16 at-bats resulted in a strikeout.
  • Center fielder Austin Jackson was not Mariners’ lineup for the second straight day on Friday as he continues to recover from back spasms. Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said he does not want to take any chances with Jackson with the All-Star break just a few days away.
  • The Angels will be without closer Huston Street for the remainder of the series, but will have the services of right-handed reliever Vinnie Pestano, who was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City prior to Friday’s game. Manager Mike Scioscia said Matt Shoemaker could also make a relief appearance over the weekend, as he is not scheduled to start again before the All-Star break.

Starting Lineups:

Angels:

  1. 2B-Johnny Giavotella – .271
  2. RF-Kole Calhoun – .269
  3. CF-Mike Trout – .309
  4. DH-Albert Pujols – .259
  5. SS-Erick Aybar – .281
  6. 3B-David Freese – .245
  7. 1B-C.J. Cron – .255
  8. LF-Matt Joyce – .195
  9. C-Carlos Perez – .232

Seattle:

  1. CF-Austin Jackson – .252
  2. DH-Franklin Gutierrez – .333
  3. 2B-Robinson Cano – .254
  4. RF-Nelson Cruz – .304
  5. 3B-Kyle Seager – .258
  6. LF-Mark Trumbo – .243
  7. 1B-Jesus Montero – .333
  8. SS-Brad Miller – .246
  9. C-Mike Zunino – .165

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