SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners lineup: Kyle Seager hitting 3rd vs Rays ‘opener’ Sergio Romo

Jun 1, 2018, 4:12 PM
Kyle Seager will get a rare chance to hit third in the Mariners lineup Friday. (AP)...
Kyle Seager will get a rare chance to hit third in the Mariners lineup Friday. (AP)
(AP)

The Tampa Bay Rays have been experimenting with their pitching staff this season. But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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So with Tampa Bay using right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as a so-called ‘opener’ – meaning he will pitch just the first inning – Mariners manager Scott Servais has moved the left-handed-hitting Kyle Seager to third in the order to prevent Tampa’s experiment from providing the Rays with too much of an advantage on Friday night.

The Rays started using Romo against teams that typically are heavy in right-handed hitters at the top of their order. Ideally, it would allow them to start off with a clean inning and then switch to a typical starter that conceivably would be able to get later into a game before having to face opposing hitters for a third time.

Though Mitch Haniger usually hits third for Seattle, Servais flipped him with Seager, the usual fifth hitter, to tip the scales to the Mariners’ advantage for the first inning.

The Mariners will have Mike Leake (5-3, 4.93 ERA) – a more traditional starting pitcher – on the mound in the 7:10 game on 710 ESPN Seattle.

A pair of regular players will get routine days off for Seattle – left fielder Denard Span and catcher Mike Zunino, the latter of whom had a slight scare with a cramp in his quad while running out a ground ball late in Thursday’s game. Servais said Zunino would be available to come into Friday’s game at some point if needed.

Coverage starts on 710 ESPN Seattle with the pregame show at 6. Here are the full lineups.

Mariners (34-22)

Dee Gordon, 2B
Jean Segura, SS
Kyle Seager, 3B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Mitch Haniger, RF
Ben Gamel, LF
Ryon Healy, 1B
Guillermo Heredia, CF
David Freitas, C

Mike Leake, RHP

Rays (28-27)

Mallex Smith, CF
C.J. Cron, DH
Joey Wendle, 2B
Wilson Ramos, C
Matt Duffy, 3B
Daniel Robertson, SS
Brad Miller, 1B
Carlos Gomez, RF
Johnny Field, LF

Sergio Romo, RHP

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Mariners lineup: Kyle Seager hitting 3rd vs Rays ‘opener’ Sergio Romo