Yesterday, in the Mariners’ 14-2 win over the Texas Rangers, Taylor Hearn was pulled in the first inning of his MLB debut after Seattle tagged him for five runs (four earned) on 39 pitches. Today, Mariners starter Yusei Kikuchi is expected to pitch one inning as well, but hopefully not because he has walked four of eight batters and only recorded one out. Kikuchi, as part of the agreement made when he signed with the Mariners, will occasionally make these abbreviated starts to help him adjust to US baseball’s five-man rotation, as opposed to Japan’s six-man rotations, in hopes of preventing injuries as the season wears on.
Kikuchi will hand the ball over to Justus Sheffield, who will be making his Mariners debut. Sheffield, acquired in the James Paxton trade, was called up specifically for this appearance. He is expected to be sent back down after today to make room for new relief pitcher Mike Wright, acquired from the Orioles.
Mariners lineup vs. Texas RH Shelby Miller, 7:10 p.m. PT at T-Mobile. Jay Bruce returns after missing 4 games with sore quad, but Mallex Smith with a second straight day off in CF. pic.twitter.com/oNeBvrlosK— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) April 26, 2019
Game Time: 7:10 PM PT
Radio: 710 AM ESPN