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MLB: Busy Angels, Mariners seek to start 2nd half strongly

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For two teams that haven’t played since Sunday, the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners have been making plenty of news.

The American League West rivals will get back to the field Friday when they open a three-game series in Anaheim, Calif.

The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani might not have won the Home Run Derby in Denver, but he stole the show Monday with a 513-foot blast.

The next night, he made history as both the starting pitcher and the designated hitter in the All-Star Game, getting the victory as the AL prevailed 5-2 with Ohtani throwing a fastball clocked at 100.2 mph.

“It was definitely more fun than nervous,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “The experience the last three days was definitely great. … Obviously, I haven’t played in the postseason or the World Series yet and that’ll probably surpass this, but as of right now, this has been the most memorable.”

The Mariners’ lone All-Star representative, left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, was placed on the injured list Sunday due to coronavirus concerns, but was activated Monday after passing a COVID-19 test. That made Kikuchi eligible to play in the All-Star Game, but he still wasn’t feeling 100 percent so he pulled out.

The Angels announced Wednesday they had signed veteran outfielder Adam Eaton, who was released by the Chicago White Sox.

Eaton was cut after batting just .201 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 58 games for the White Sox. With the Angels, he’ll help fill out a patchwork outfield that has been without three-time AL MVP Mike Trout for the past two months with a left calf injury and also without Justin Upton since June 22 with lower back woes.

The Mariners also will be adding an outfielder for the weekend series, as top prospect Jarred Kelenic is scheduled to be called back up from Triple-A.

The 21-year-old struggled in his first trip to the majors, batting .096 before being returned to Tacoma while in an 0-for-39 slump.

Kelenic batted .320 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 30 games with the Rainiers.

“I feel like the numbers I’ve put up, where I’m at mentally, I definitely think I’m ready to go back,” Kelenic told The Seattle Times at the All-Star Futures Game last weekend in Denver.

The Mariners will be a man down as left-handed reliever Hector Santiago’s 10-game suspension for violating baseball’s sticky-substance rules was upheld Thursday.

The Mariners are scheduled to start right-hander Chris Flexen (8-3, 3.51 ERA) in the series opener. Flexen is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two career starts against the Angels, both this season. He pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed just three hits against them last Saturday in a 2-0 victory.

The Angels are set to counter with left-hander Andrew Heaney (5-6, 5.38). He is 3-5 with a 4.02 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mariners. Heaney suffered a 7-4 loss at Seattle on April 30, when he allowed four runs on six hits — including three home runs — in 3 1/3 innings.

The Angels’ David Fletcher has a 24-game hitting streak. He went 4 for 5 with a home run and four RBIs as Los Angeles defeated the Mariners 7-1 last Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep at T-Mobile Park.

–Field Level Media

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