Gonzales to start Mariners opener in Japan; Kikuchi Game 2
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Left-hander Marco Gonzales will get the opening day start for the Seattle Mariners when they begin the 2019 season in Japan against the Oakland Athletics on March 20. New Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi will get the ball for the second game of the series.
Seattle manager Scott Servais announced the starters for the opening series on Saturday. The announcement was expected based on the Mariners’ rotation during spring training.
Kikuchi already was going to be in the spotlight returning to Japan after signing with Seattle in the offseason, but getting the start in the second game against the A’s will only heighten the attention.
Gonzales getting the nod for the opener ends Felix Hernandez’s run of 10 straight opening day starts for Seattle. Gonzales is beginning his second full season with Seattle and is coming off a 13-9 record and 4.00 ERA.