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News » Angels-Mariners Preview 2009-04-14

Angels-Mariners Preview 2009-04-14

Angels-Mariners Preview 2009-04-14
The Los Angeles Angels hope a road trip will help give them a small sense of normalcy. Another moment of silence for Nick Adenhart and Ken Griffey Jr.'s return to Seattle, though, promise to bring plenty of emotion.

After a draining homestand, the Angels will pay tribute to Adenhart again Tuesday as Griffey takes the field in a Mariners uniform at Seattle for the first time since 1999.

Los Angeles (3-3) takes to the road for the first time this season following an eventful weekend series against playoff rival Boston. The Angels won the opener 6-3 on Friday night after a pregame homage to Adenhart, and they were involved in a bench-clearing incident in the finale Sunday before winning 5-4.

The benches and bullpens spilled onto the field in a skirmish that saw Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia, hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, center fielder Torii Hunter and reliever Justin Speier all get ejected. It was a long series for an Angels team that continues to mourn the loss of Adenhart, the 22-year-old rookie pitcher who was killed early Thursday along with two friends when the car they were in was hit by a van driven by a suspected drunken driver.

Los Angeles will now open a six-game trip, beginning with three games at Safeco Field.

"I don't know if it's going to be any better," Angels catcher Mike Napoli said. "Nick's still not going to be there, and we're going to be reminded of it all the time. Maybe to just get away from our home field, be on the road and see different things might help, but I don't know."

The Mariners' home opener will include a moment of silence for Adenhart, whose next start would have been in this contest.

There will also be a buzz due to Griffey's much-anticipated return as a Mariner. He was 19 years old when he began his career with Seattle in 1989, establishing himself as one of the league's most exciting players in 11 years there before signing with Cincinnati as a free agent.

Griffey was traded to the Chicago White Sox last July and signed with the Mariners in the offseason. This will be the 12th home opener in Seattle for Griffey, who won the AL MVP in 1997 and ranks fifth on the all-time home run list with 612.

"I can't wait to see how loud it gets when Junior is introduced," Mariners third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo told the team's official Web site. "It will be exciting."

Griffey, 39, is batting .133 (2-for-15) with one home run, but Seattle (5-2) has had a strong start to its season. The Mariners have won four straight, including three against Oakland over the weekend.

They're expected to have another familiar face in the lineup for Wednesday's game, as Ichiro Suzuki has rejoined the team after being placed on the disabled list for the first time in his major league career April 3 with a bleeding ulcer.

Seattle beat the Athletics 1-0 on Sunday behind Erik Bedard's strong pitching.

The Mariners will now hand the ball to Carlos Silva (0-1, 10.80 ERA), who looks to improve upon an awful season debut. He allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings as Seattle lost 6-5 to Minnesota on Wednesday night.

The veteran right-hander is 0-7 with an 8.13 ERA in his last 12 starts and has lost 16 of his last 17 decisions. He was 0-7 with a 7.90 ERA in his final eight outings at Safeco Field last season and hasn't won there since April 12, 2008.

Silva is 6-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearance versus the Angels.

Los Angeles will counter with Shane Loux (0-0, 2.81 ERA in 2008), who is getting a chance in a thin Angels rotation. This will be his first major league start since 2003 with Detroit.

The 29-year-old right-hander, a non-roster invitee, went 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in four starts and two relief appearances in spring training. He was out of baseball in 2007 before signing a minor league deal with the Angels, pitching well enough to earn relief duty with Los Angeles down the stretch last season.

Loux has not received a decision in two career relief appearances against the Mariners, allowing four runs in four innings.

Los Angeles went 14-5 against Seattle last season.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 14, 2009

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