Waiting may end for Ohtani-Kikuchi matchup

It's often said one can learn if a rookie is for real by how he fares the second time through the league.

For Jose Suarez, that's going to come in the span of eight days.

The Los Angeles Angels plan to recall the rookie left-hander from Triple-A Salt Lake to make his second career start Sunday in the series finale against the visiting Seattle Mariners. Suarez will replace veteran right-hander Trevor Cahill, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday with right elbow soreness.

Suarez, one of the Angels' top prospects, made his major league debut last Sunday in Seattle, getting the victory after giving up three runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out four.

"He did a nice job," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said of Suarez's first start. "It was a good first outing. He got the win. Got some run support. A good fastball-changeup combination. We talked about using the breaking balls a bit more. But it was a very good first outing."

Ausmus said Cahill, who is 2-6 with a 7.18 ERA, is not expected to miss more than one start.

"We don't think it's anything serious," Ausmus said. "Cahill definitely still has his stuff. His velocity has been as good as ever this year, especially recently. It's more about execution than raw stuff."

Suarez, speaking through an interpreter, said he felt "really good" about his first start.

"I feel way more confident seeing what I was able to do against big league hitters, and I'm going to work from there," Suarez said.

The Mariners are scheduled to send left-hander Wade LeBlanc (2-2, 5.70 ERA) to the mound. LeBlanc is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against the Angels.

In his last outing against AL West-leading Houston, LeBlanc came in after Seattle used an opener for the first time this season and responded with eight innings, allowing one run on three hits.

Cory Gearrin allowed three first-inning runs but LeBlanc kept the Mariners in a game they lost 4-2.

It was by far the best of LeBlanc's four outings since being sidelined for a month with a strained oblique.

"I don't know if it necessarily helped," LeBlanc said of coming out of the bullpen. "There were things in the last two, three starts trending toward a quality outing."

Mariners manager Scott Servais was more emphatic.

"I would consider doing it again, no question about it," Servais said of the strategy. "It has a bit of a different feel to the ballgame, but as far as it working, certainly didn't throw a (zero) in the first inning, that didn't happen. But we got a lot out of our 'starter' tonight. I'll take that every time out. Or follower, I should say."

The Angels lost the series opener 6-2 on Friday before responding with a 12-3 victory Saturday as Tommy La Stella, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani opened the fourth inning with back-to-back-to-back home runs.

Mariners right-hander Tayler Scott made his debut in relief, becoming the first native of South Africa to pitch in a major league game.

--Field Level Media
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