Right-hander Kelvim Escobar will try to get the Angels off to a good start when they open a four-game series against the Mariners at Safeco Field.
With 20 games remaining, all against division opponents, Anaheim trails first-place Oakland by two in the West and trails Boston by five in the AL wild-card race.
Escobar, who is 4-2 with a 2.85 ERA over his last seven starts, was on the losing end of a 1-0 decision against Toronto on Wednesday. The Venezuelan right-hander allowed five hits while striking out a career-high 12 over eight innings.
Garret Anderson had three hits and three RBIs for Anaheim.
However, not all the news was good. After singling twice and driving in a run, Darin Erstad was forced to leave the game after the fourth because of tightness in his lower back. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he doesn’t expect Erstad to miss any playing time.
Seattle, which has lost nine of its last 11, is coming off an encouraging four-game split with red-hot Boston.
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4, boosting his hit total to 231. With 20 games remaining, the Japanese outfielder needs 27 to break the 84-year-old major league record of 257 by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns.
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