Mariners Game Preview: Tai Walker to Start Home Opener for Seattle


Taijuan Walker is set to start the Mariners home opener against the A’s on Friday night.

The Seattle Mariners (2-1) will take on the Oakland A’s (1-3) tonight in Safeco Field’s home Opener. Taijuan Walker will toe the rubber for the Mariners and Eric Surkamp will take the mound for the A’s.

Walker made 6 starts during spring training, going 1-3 with a 6.55 ERA across 22 innings of work. He struck out 23 batters and issued only 4 free passes. In 2015, Walker made 29 starts and went 11-8 with a 4.56 ERA over 169.2 innings. With a full season under his belt, hopefully this will be Walker’s breakout season.

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Surkamp is going into his first season with Oakland, after spending his last 5 seasons with the Giants, White Sox, and Dodgers. He has made mostly relief appearances over his career, and has started only 7 games. In those starts, he pitched 29.1 innings while allowing 24 runs on 41 hits.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups as announced by Mariner’s skipper Scott Servais and A’s manager Bob Melvin:

Robinson Cano has been on fire through the first 3 games of the season, with 4 home runs and 7 RBI. It will be fun to watch if his historic start can continue into this series. Nori Aoki went 3-10 in the first 3 games and sits at a .300 batting average.

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Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager each went 3-11 with a homerun in the Texas series. Leonys Martin also got off to a good start, going 4-10 in the opening series with a homerun and 3 RBI. The Mariners offense as a whole is off to a promising start to the season, scoring 21 runs on 29 hits and hitting .282 as a team while slugging 9 long balls. It could be the hitter friendly confines of Globe Life Park in Arlington, but I think we will have a fun lineup to watch in 2016.

Tonight’s game will be televised on Root Sports Northwest and can also be streamed live for subscribers. Fans in the Pacific Northwest can also listen live on 710 ESPN. Opening day festivities will be on display as Ken Griffey Jr. is set to throw out the first pitch.

Next: Edwin Diaz Sparkles in Season Debut with Generals

Make sure to follow SoDo Mojo on twitter for live updates of tonight’s game. And check back after the final out is recorded for a full recap of the action. Go Mariners!