ANGELS (28-30) AT MARINERS (25-36)
4:10 p.m. ET; ROOTNW, FS-W, MLB.TV
Managers Brad Ausmus and Scott Servais go way back to when they were the two catchers for the 2001 Houston Astros.
Maybe that’s why Ausmus played coy about who the visiting Los Angeles Angels would start in Sunday afternoon’s series finale against Servais’ Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
Left-hander Jose Suarez, one of the Angels’ top prospects, joined the team Saturday in Seattle and is set to make his major league debut.
Whether that’s in the first inning is the question for Sunday.
If he stays in the majors is a question for another day.
“He’s gonna pitch (Sunday), but I’m not sure if he’s going to start,” Ausmus said. “For right now it is (one game), but I don’t know. It’s not etched in stone that it’s one game.”
Suarez, 21, was 2-0 with a 3.91 ERA in five appearances at Triple-A Salt Lake, with 20 strikeouts in 23 innings.
Suarez said he’s fine either starting or pitching after an opener, although his lone poor start with the Bees came when he followed another pitcher. He gave up six runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings against Tacoma, the Mariners’ farm club.
“I didn’t feel as focused,” Suarez told MLB.com through an interpreter. “I never had started a game coming in for the second inning. It was my first time doing that. But I have to get used to whatever situation they put me in.”
Suarez missed most of spring training and the first month of the season with shoulder soreness, but told MLB.com he feels healthy now.
“He looks young, but he’s savvy on the mound,” Ausmus said. “He’s got some moxie.”
Whether Suarez gets to face the Mariners’ Jay Bruce remains to be seen.
The outfielder-first baseman, who hit his 300th career home run on Friday night, has been the subject of trade talks with the Philadelphia Phillies, multiple sources reported.
“I don’t have any news. I honestly don’t,” Bruce told MLB.com before Saturday’s game as he looked up from his phone. “I’m reading what you guys are reading.”
Bruce was not in the lineup Saturday.
“He hit his 300th homer (Friday night),” Servais said. “I was very happy for him. And he’s not playing (Saturday).”
Mariners first baseman-designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion might have boosted his trade stock with two home runs Saturday — a day after an emergency root canal.
“It’s still sore, but I can play,” Encarnacion told MLB.com, referring to his jaw. “It bothered me on some swings, but not every swing. The two homers I got, I don’t feel nothing.”
Left-hander Marco Gonzales (5-5, 3.96 ERA) is scheduled to start for Seattle. Gonzales went 0-5 with a 5.86 ERA in May after becoming the first Mariners pitcher in franchise history to win five games by the end of April.
Gonzales is 4-0 with a 3.07 ERA in 10 career starts against the Angels, including 1-0 in two starts this season. He beat Los Angeles 2-1 on April 2 in Seattle, allowing one run on four hits in 8 1/3 innings.
— Field Level Media