Mariners-Angels Preview

Having won seven straight series entering this four-game set,

the Los Angeles Angels still have some work to do this weekend if

they want to extend that streak to eight.

They’ll be facing the Seattle Mariners’ wins leaders in the

final two games of this series, starting with their first look at

rookie Michael Pineda on Saturday night in Anaheim.

Los Angeles (48-42) is a major league-best 17-6 since June 13,

when this run of winning series began by taking two of three at

Seattle (43-46). The Angels have won 14 of their last 16 at home

against the Mariners by taking the first two games of the

series.

They need to win one more game in this series to capture another

one, and will face Pineda (8-5, 2.58 ERA) first and then reigning

AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez.

Pineda could pose a challenge since he’s been impressive,

leading all rookies in innings (108.0), strikeouts (106), ERA and

opponent batting average (.193). He gave up one run over six

innings and struck out seven Monday to earn a 2-1 victory over

Oakland.

“He’s looked like that all year long,” manager Eric Wedge said.

“As the year has progressed, you’ve seen him do some things you

love a pitcher to do.”

The 22-year-old right-hander improved to 4-3 with a 2.72 ERA in

nine road outings.

Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia will likely give his own

heralded prospect, Mike Trout, a second straight start. Trout went

0 for 3 in his major league debut in Friday’s 4-3 victory after he

was promoted from Double-A Arkansas earlier in the day.

The 19-year-old outfielder was given the opportunity to play

center field because starter Peter Bourjos strained his right

hamstring Thursday. Trout earned the Midwest League’s MVP award

last season, and hit .324 with 32 extra-base hits and 28 stolen

bases for Arkansas in the Texas League in 2011.

While he had a tough day at the plate, his spectacular running

catch of a fly ball off the bat of Franklin Gutierrez in the top of

the ninth set the stage for Mark Trumbo’s leadoff game-winning

homer in the bottom half.

“Mike had a great game,” teammate Hank Conger said. “It was a

treat to see him play.”

Trout is the youngest player in baseball and the youngest to

debut with the Angels since 19-year-old Andy Hassler on May 30,

1971.

“We’ve got some young guys on our club who we’re counting on to

piece together a puzzle on what we believe is a

championship-caliber club,” Scioscia said.

Trumbo’s homer was one of four solo shots for the Angels, as

Conger, Erick Aybar and Vernon Wells all went deep.

“You can live with a solo shot, but not four of them,” said

Wedge, whose club has scored four runs during a three-game losing

streak.

The Angels are looking for a sixth straight win with Joel

Pineiro (4-3, 3.90) on the mound. Pineiro improved to 2-0 with a

4.15 ERA in that stretch by giving up one run over seven innings in

Monday’s 5-1 victory over Detroit.

The veteran right-hander went 2-0 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts

last season against the Mariners, the team he pitched for from

2000-06.