Seattle Mariners (33-40, 5th AL West) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (37-36, T-2nd AL West)
Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA
Weather Forecast @ 1st Pitch: Sunny, 77F, Wind WSW 9mph, 0% Chance of Rain
Taijuan Walker ( 5-6, 4.94 ERA)
Walker has had something of an up & down season, which his 4.94 ERA would indicate, but he is coming off a stretch in which he has won each of his last 3 starts, going at least 6 innings and giving up 3 runs or fewer in each of those starts. His last start came Saturday against Houston. He held the Astros to 3 runs on 5 hits over 6 1/3 innings, striking out a season-high 11 batters.
Matt Shoemaker (4-5, 5.20 ERA)
In what may be one of his final chances to keep himself in the Angel rotation, Shoemaker will open up the weekend series against Seattle tonight after having his start pushed back from Wednesday’s series finale against Houston in favor of the young lefty Andrew Heaney. Shoemaker has had a pretty rough go of it here in his sophomore season, particularly with the long ball. He’s looked good at times, but was pushed back after giving up 5 runs on 8 hits (2 home runs) in just 4 innings against Oakland last Friday. Fortunately for Shoemaker, he took the no-decision in that start as the Angel offense erupted for 12 runs to beat the A’s 12-7.
- It will be interesting to see if Angels rookie Kyle Kubitza gets another start at third base Friday with the right-handed Walker pitching. David Freese, who has been scuffling, got a day off against a righty Wednesday to work on his timing.
- Angels outfielder Efren Navarro could return to the leadoff spot against the righty Walker. Navarro hit ninth against two Houston right-handers, possibly because several key Astros relievers are lefties.
- Five Mariners have homered off Shoemaker — who has struggled with the long ball this season — in their career: Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Seth Smith.
- 1B-Logan Morrison – .248
- CF-Austin Jackson – .256
- 2B-Robinson Cano – .246
- DH-Nelson Cruz – .303
- 3B-Kyle Seager – .265
- RF-Mark Trumbo – .232
- LF-Seth Smith – .261
- SS-Brad Miller – .222
- C-Mike Zunino – .165