The Seattle Mariners’ starting rotation is now set as the team wraps up preparations for the upcoming home opener. There were hints at what the Mariners would do with the rotation when the team played two games in Japan last week. It allowed Marco Gonzales and Yusei Kikuchi to work out some of the rust.
According to MLB reporter Greg Johns, Gonzales will start against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, March 28. Yusei Kikuchi (March 29), Mike Leake (March 30), Wade LeBlanc (March 31), and Felix Hernandez (April 1) will follow him in the Mariners’ starting rotation. Hernandez will make his start against the Los Angeles Angels after the first four games are played against the Red Sox.
Leake to pitch in tomorrow night's game vs. Padres, with LeBlanc going Tuesday afternoon. Here's what to look for in the Mariners' two exhibition games at T-Mobile Park. https://t.co/hTDV0gnDeE
— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) March 25, 2019
Mariners sweep Oakland Athletics in Japan series
The season has already started out quite nicely for the Mariners, as the team swept a two-game series against the Athletics on March 20 and 21. The two American League West teams traveled to Japan to open the 2019 MLB season, with the Athletics serving as the home team.
The Mariners won the first game 9-7, with Gonzales going six strong innings and allowing just three earned runs. In the second game, Kikuchi went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one earned run before his pitch count got too high. The Mariners would win the 12-inning game with some late offense, posting a 5-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Marco Gonzales to open T-Mobile Park
Gonzales is looking to improve upon a strong 2018 season and possibly become the true ace of the pitching staff. He will make the first start for the Mariners at the recently re-named T-Mobile Park in Seattle. It’s a tough test, as he has to pitch against the defending World Series champions in the Boston Red Sox.
As for the Red Sox, they will roll out Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price, and Nathan Eovaldi in the four-game series. Sale will be competing for the AL Cy Young Award, showing just how big of a test his start will be for the Mariners’ hitters. Game 1 of the series begins at 4:08 p.m. PT on March 28.