Giants take on Mariners in home opener
The Giants opened with a four-game split at Los Angeles, where the Dodgers also are honoring their move west in 1958.
As much as being home, the Giants are looking forward to getting out of Los Angeles, where they scored just two runs in four games.
“It was a rough series for the boys,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy observed after Sunday’s 9-0 loss. “The Dodgers put up a lot of zeroes against us.”
And so did Blach against the Dodgers. Five to be exact, even though he did allow three hits and three walks interspersed with the 15 outs.
The 27-year-old has never faced the Mariners.
Gonzales will be making his season debut for the Mariners, whose Opening Day starter, staff ace Felix Hernandez, is scheduled to pitch Wednesday’s twilight series finale against the Giants’ Johnny Cueto.
The left-hander went 1-1 in 10 games, including seven starts, for the Mariners last season after having been acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in July.
He did not face the Giants as a member of the Mariners last year but suffered the loss in a start for St. Louis against San Francisco in 2014, allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings (10.38 ERA).
Gonzales will be facing a Giants lineup that was beefed up in the offseason with an eye on improved production against left-handed pitching.
But even though the Giants saw three lefties in Los Angeles, newcomers Andrew McCutchen (1-for-16), Evan Longoria (0-for-15) and Austin Jackson (1-for-12) went a combined 2-for-43 with no home runs or RBIs.
Joe Panik was the hero of both Giants wins against the Dodgers, contributing a solo homer to brilliant pitching that produced 1-0 wins in the first two games.
The Mariners got off to a much more potent start against the Cleveland Indians, getting two homers apiece from Nelson Cruz and Mitch Hanigan among six they belted against Cleveland pitching.
Even Ichiro Suzuki got into the offensive act with two hits in nine at-bats.
The Giants likely won’t see Cruz in the series. He slipped on the dugout steps in Saturday’s loss to the Indians, spraining an ankle, and was held out of Sunday’s game.
Without the possibility of using him as a designated hitter in a National League park Tuesday and Wednesday, Mariners manager Scott Servais appeared primed to wait for the start of a series in Minnesota on Thursday.
“I joked with him (after the mishap),” Servais said. “I said, ‘Oh, you really didn’t want to play the outfield, did you?’ And he got mad at me.”
The Mariners and Giants haven’t met since June 2015. Seattle owns a 16-13 edge, having won 13 of the last 18, but San Francisco has a 6-4 advantage at home.
The clubs meet again in Seattle for two games in July.