Mariners-Angels Preview

A week shy of his 27th birthday, Matt Shoemaker finally gets his

shot in the majors, and it comes against one of the AL’s worst


Filling in for the Los Angeles Angels ace, Shoemaker makes his

major league debut Friday night against the visiting Seattle


The Angels (74-78) announced Thursday that Jered Weaver had been

scratched from his scheduled start due to right forearm tightness

he first experienced Sept. 9. He is only expected to miss one

start, but it gives Shoemaker an opportunity to debut against a

Seattle team batting an AL-worst .239 this year and scoring only

3.1 runs per game since Aug. 23.

The right-hander went 11-13 with a 4.64 ERA in 29 starts for

Triple-A Salt Lake this year – his sixth in the minors. He allowed

two earned runs or less in each of his last five starts, though he

hasn’t pitched since Aug. 30.

“It gives Shoe an opportunity to show what he can do at the big

league level,” general manager Jerry Dipoto told the Angels’

official website. “We called him up for a reason. He fits very well

down the stretch and in Triple-A. He’s had nothing but consistent

durability throughout his minor league career.”

Shoemaker opposes Erasmo Ramirez (5-2, 4.98). The right-hander

lost his only start of the year against the Angels on Aug. 24,

allowing three runs – two earned – in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-1 home

defeat. He’s 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA in two career starts against


Ramirez is running into a hot Angels team and coming off a shaky

start in St. Louis on Sunday, when he allowed five runs and eight

hits in four innings of a 12-2 loss.

The Angels have won seven of nine and are a major league-best

19-7 since Aug. 23, a stretch which began with a three-game sweep

of the Mariners. Their 3.02 ERA is the best in the AL since the

start of that series.

Josh Hamilton has keyed the offense during this hot stretch,

including Wednesday in a 5-4 win over Oakland as he hit the

game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning and the go-ahead

sacrifice fly in the 11th.

The right fielder is batting .328 since Aug. 9, bumping his

season average from .217 to .245.

“I feel like I am having good at-bats even if the results aren’t

always there,” Hamilton said. “If I can build off this last month

of quality at-bats, it would be good.”

A win would bring the Angels within three games of .500 for the

first time since July 20 when they were 46-49.

The Mariners (67-86) are in danger of falling 20 games under

.500 for the first time this season. They’ve lost nine of 11 but

beat Detroit 8-0 on Wednesday and nearly defeated the AL Central

leader again Thursday, leading in the seventh inning only to lose


“We’re not looking for moral victories, but I am very

appreciative of the way these guys are fighting and stepping up to

these teams at this time of the year,” manager Eric Wedge told the

team’s official website.

Kyle Seager broke a 2-for-40 slump with two hits Thursday, and

Dustin Ackley had a three-run homer after going 10 straight games

without an extra-base hit.

The Angels lead the season series 9-7 and will win it with one

victory in this three-game set.