Mariners look to get back on track vs. Angels

MLB

Jake Fraley is expected to be in the lineup, either in the outfield or at designated hitter, when the Seattle Mariners face the host Los Angeles Angels on Saturday in Anaheim, Calif.

With a knee injury expected to keep Kyle Lewis out several weeks, Fraley is among those expected to help fill in for Lewis, along with Jarred Kelenic, Taylor Trammel and Mitch Haniger.

Fraley hit his first career major league home run in Thursday’s 6-2 win, getting an assist from team trainer Taylor Bennett. When Fraley was batting in the fourth inning, something flew into his eye.

Fraley tried to call timeout as Angels pitcher Griffin Canning was in his windup, but Fraley’s timeout call was not granted. The pitch was a strike and Fraley was in a 1-2 hole.

Bennett came out and administered eye drops for Fraley, who then hit the next pitch from Canning over the fence in right-center field for a home run.

“They were really pumped up for Taylor the trainer,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He got to go out there, get all the TV time and then drop the eye drops. The new eyes in there. Everybody went to him right after the home run, (saying), ‘Give me some eye drops.'”

Fraley started in right field in Friday’s 3-2 loss and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (3-3, 3.88 ERA) will be on the mound for Seattle, coming off victories in each of his last two starts. He allowed three runs in 12 2/3 innings in those starts against Oakland and Texas. He’s lasted at least six innings in six consecutive starts and nine of 10 this season.

Kikuchi owns a 1-3 record with an 11.32 ERA with 10 strikeouts in five appearances — all starts — against the Angels in his career.

Right-hander Alex Cobb (3-2, 3.78) will start for Los Angeles. He is coming off his best start of the season, when he tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out eight.

Cobb throws a lot of splitters and sinkers, and consequently gets ground balls, which makes him rely heavily on the infield defense. Against Oakland, the defense was on point and Cobb excelled.

“It’s such a big part of my game to be able to do that. It gives me the ability to stay calm on the mound and continue to be aggressive,” Cobb said. “When I have days like (that) when I’m able to manipulate the ball and get it to do what I want it to, then you’re able to play the game and do the thinking game with the hitter and set them up different ways. And that’s when it becomes fun.

“I’m able to disguise pitches. I’m able to make strikes look like balls and balls look like strikes and get guys to chase, get guys to put the ball on the ground. That’s a successful day for me.”

Cobb is 3-4 with a 6.41 ERA in nine career starts against the Mariners.

–Field Level Media

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