Sunday, June 26, 2016

Garcia, Paxton face off in series finale

The Mariners and Cardinals will close their three-game Interleague series Sunday at Safeco Field, the first series in Seattle between the two teams since 2002.
Left-hander James Paxton is scheduled to take the mound for the Mariners, and righty Jaime Garcia will start for the Cardinals.
This will be Paxton's sixth start since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma when the Mariners put Felix Hernandez (right calf strain) on the disabled list. In his first start, Paxton only lasted 3 2/3 innings and gave up eight runs (three earned) on 10 hits. But he has gone six or more innings in his past four starts and logged a 2.77 ERA over that stretch.
Garcia will face the Mariners for the second time in his career. The first was in 2010, when he allowed two runs over seven innings for the loss in his first ever Interleague start. This season, Garcia has a 3.82 ERA, but he has given up 10 of his 35 earned runs in first innings. That's a 6.43 ERA in first innings and a 3.29 ERA after that.
Things to know about this game
• Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams will be a starting option. Since a last-minute switch Friday, Adams has been out of the starting lineup for two games with lower back tightness. He was available off the bench Saturday.
• St. Louis will look to a new closer. Before Saturday's game, the Cardinals announced Trevor Rosenthal would step out of that role. He blew his third save of the season Friday. Seung Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist and Jonathan Broxton are likely candidates for the position.
• Mariners right fielder/designated hitter Nelson Cruz will have another chance to show off his Interleague power hitting. Since the 2009 season, Cruz has hit the second most home runs in Interleague play (36), trailing only Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion (38).

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