Friday, April 17, 2015

Cruz faces former Rangers mates in Seattle

A couple of power hitters face off against their former teams when Nelson Cruz and the Mariners host Carlos Peguero and the Rangers on Friday night at Safeco Field.
Cruz, who was with the Rangers from 2007-13, signed a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners in the offseason and is starting to heat up. He hit six home runs in a five-game stretch on the Mariners' just-concluded road trip. He has yet to hit a home run in three games at Safeco.
Peguero is a former top Mariners prospect. He played with the Mariners for parts of 2011-13, but never hit well enough to stick in the big leagues. After a year with Kansas City's Triple-A team, he signed a Minor League contract with the Rangers in the offseason. He has changed his approach at the plate, becoming more selective and patient. The Rangers are giving him a chance to play left field with Ryan Rua on the disabled list and he has hit .417 (5-for-12) with three doubles, four walks and four strikeouts in four games.
Things to know about this game
• Veteran left-hander J.A. Happ gets the start for Seattle as the Mariners open a nine-game homestand. Happ threw well in his Mariners debut, but took a no-decision against the A's. He's 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts against the Rangers, whom he hasn't faced since 2012. He'll square off against right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who is 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA after being acquired from the Brewers via trade last winter.
• Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager has a career .331 average against the Rangers. That ranks third among 92 active players with at least 100 at-bats against them. His .572 slugging percentage ranks fifth.
• Rangers closer Neftali Feliz has never allowed a run to the Mariners. He is 3-0 and 11-for-11 in save opportunities in 21 career appearances against them. In 26 innings, he has allowed seven hits, with seven walks and 26 strikeouts.

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