Monday, April 13, 2015

Cruz likely to play Interleague opener in LA

The Mariners visit Dodger Stadium for an Interleague series and will lose their designated hitter, but that doesn't mean Los Angeles won't be facing Nelson Cruz. Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said he hasn't decided -- or at least wasn't prepared to say -- who will sit out on Monday-Wednesday. But Cruz, expected to play primarily at designated hitter after signing his four-year, $57 million deal in the offseason, has started four of Seattle's first six games in right field because Seth Smith is dealing with a sore groin muscle, and he will likely be there against the Dodgers as well.
"I think it's pretty safe to say Cruz will be in the lineup," McClendon said.
Things to know about this game
• Left-hander James Paxton has only started 18 games for Seattle, but he opened the year as their No. 2 starter as McClendon wanted to split up right-handers Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma and Paxton has been very good when healthy. He's made two Interleague starts and has a 0.90 ERA (one earned run in 10 innings) against the Cardinals and Phillies.
• Brandon McCarthy gets his second start for the Dodgers, looking to go deeper than the five-plus innings he delivered in his first outing. McCarthy is 2-6 with a 3.88 career ERA against Seattle. He last faced the Mariners in 2012.
• With Seattle starting a left-hander, right-handed-hitter Scott Van Slyke figures to get his first start of the year in left field. Van Slyke hit .315 last year against lefties.

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