Bay, Andino make first starts tonight

As promised, Eric Wedge is working to get all his guys into the lineup in the first few days to keep them sharp coming out of Spring Training. Yesterday it was Raul Ibanez getting the start, today Jason Bay and Robert Andino make their Mariners debuts.

Bay replaces Michael Saunders and Andino will play second instead of Dustin Ackley, both providing right-handed bats against A’s lefty Tommy Milone in the 7:10 p.m. PT game.

Oakland skipper Bob Melvin is doing the same thing, starting four players today who haven’t been in the lineup the first two games as the Mariners are going with Joe Saunders, their only lefty starter.

It’ll be interesting to see how Saunders fares today. He hasn’t had a good spring, but that is nothing new. He’s had bad springs in the past, but then come out and pitched very well early. Some guys don’t throw well in Arizona and Saunders appears to be one of those.

He’ll have a tough time matching Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, who have gone 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA and one walk with 15 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings. The Mariners have given up just six hits and one run in the first two games and are the first MLB team since the 1970 Reds to allow three hits or less in the first two games of the year.

Nobody carries that pace for long, but if Saunders can provide a decent start tonight, it’ll certainly be a good sign moving forward.

The Mariners are seeking their first 3-0 start sinc 1995. They’ve only opened a season 3-0 twice in their previous 36 years, 1985 (when they started 6-0) and ’95.

Here’s today’s full lineups:

Franklin Gutierrez CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Kendrys Morales DH
Michael Morse RF
Justin Smoak 1B
Jesus Montero C
Jason Bay LF
Robert Andino 2B
Brendan Ryan SS

Joe Saunders LHP

OAKLAND A’S

Coco Crisp DH
Jed Lowrie SS
Chris Young CF
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Josh Donaldson 3B
Derek Norris C
Josh Reddick RF
Nate Freiman 1B
Scott Sizemore 2B

Tommy Milone LHP

1 Comment

The Big Blue Machine.

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