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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 2nd (All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (2-0) at LA Angels of Anaheim (0-2), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - James Paxton (0-0, 0.00) LA Angels - Hector Santiago (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - The Seattle Mariners handed out big money to second baseman Robinson Cano this past offseason and his impact is already being felt throughout the lineup.
Cano and the Mariners look to begin the season with a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday night.
A five-time All-Star to begin his career with the New York Yankees, Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners in December and has gone 3-for-7 with a pair of runs scored and three walks in his first two games with the Mariners.
However, his presence in the lineup has paid off for first baseman Justin Smoak, who drove in three runs hitting behind Cano in Tuesday's 8-3 victory over the Angels.
Smoak plated all of his runs on a double as part of a four-run third inning for the Mariners. The base hit also came after an intentional walk to Cano and Smoak is 4-for-8 with a homer and six RBI through the first two games of this series.
"I knew they were going to walk Cano," Smoak said. "I just went up there to get the job done. We're getting big at-bats with guys on base."
Brad Miller, hitting in front of Cano, homered twice and Erasmo Ramirez struck out six over seven innings of two-run ball for Seattle, which won the season opener 10-3 on Monday.
The Angels were 11-8 against the Mariners last season, but Seattle is looking for its first three-game sweep in Anaheim since June 9-11, 2006.
C.J. Wilson surrendered six runs on eight hits and two walks while fanning eight for the Angels, who have started 0-2 for the first time since 2001. Raul Ibanez belted a two-run shot in defeat.
"C.J. got close to getting out of the third, but he couldn't get that last out. Those guys got a lot of two-out hits," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Hector Santiago makes his Angels debut after being part of the three-team deal in December that landed former Los Angeles slugger Mark Trumbo in Arizona. The Angels got back young starter Tyler Skaggs in the deal as well as Santiago, who went 4-9 with a 3.56 earned run average in 34 games (23 starts) last season with the Chicago White Sox.
Looking to pitch as a starter full-time in 2014, the 26-year-old lefty will make his first career start versus the Mariners. Santiago has faced them six times in relief, posting a 3.52 ERA with one save.
The Mariners should be excited to see how 25-year-old James Paxton does in his season debut tonight.
Paxton made his major league debut with four starts last September and impressed with a 3-0 mark and 1.50 ERA. He yielded just four runs total over 24 innings while striking out 21 to seven walks.
Two of the left-hander's outings were scoreless, including his final outing on Sept. 24 versus the Kansas City Royals that saw Paxton yield four hits over seven frames while striking out 10 in a victory.
Paxton solidified a role in the rotation with a solid spring, posting a 3.18 ERA over five starts while striking out 12 in 17 innings with just three walks.
04/02 10:27:38 ET