Angels, Mariners eye series win in Seattle

( – Seattle righty Hisashi Iwakuma gets the call on
Wednesday when the Mariners close out their season-opening three game
series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Safeco Field.

Iwakuma missed some time with injuries last season, and wasn’t as sharp as his
All-Star campaign in 2013, but still put forth a tremendous season, going 15-9
with a 3.52 ERA.

The 33-year-old hurler has won 37 games in 77 career starts and has pitched to
a 2.97 ERA in those outings.

Iwakuma has also dominated the Angels since coming over from Japan, as he is
6-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 10 games (9 starts) against them.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, will counter with righty Matt Shoemaker, who won his
final seven decisions and was 9-1 over his final 11 games with a 1.49 ERA to
finish second in American League Rookie of the Year voting.

In all, Shoemaker made 20 starts, going 14-3 with a 2.89 ERA in those games.
He also won twice in relief, and his 16 total victories set an Angels rookie

Los Angeles evened this series at a game apiece on Tuesday, as David Freese’s
two-run homer backed eight stellar innings from C.J. Wilson and helped the
Angels to a 2-0 win.

Wilson (1-0) retired the final 17 batters he faced and only allowed two hits
with one walk. He threw 63 of his 96 pitches for strikes and fanned a pair.

The outing was a welcome sight for the veteran after pitching to an ugly 4.51
ERA last season.

“C.J.’s performance is going to be important to our rotation,” Angels manager
Mike Scioscia said. “I think you’re going to see a better year from him.”

Freese followed Albert Pujols’ double in the fourth with an opposite-field
blast off James Paxton (0-1), who was otherwise solid over six innings.

“I left a cutter over the plate to Pujols, then made a mistake to Freese,”
Paxton said.

Seattle was 12-7 against the Angels last season.