RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, who ranks fifth in the American League with a 2.92 ERA, will start the opener of a weekend series against the Rays. He has made 10 starts without allowing a walk, which ties for second in the majors. He has a 4.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
RHP Danny Farquhar has 12 saves in his past 13 save situations since moving into the closer's role. He has retired 51 of the past 62 batters he has faced.
CF Abraham Almonte doubled in the first inning and has safely in his first five big league games he has had an at-bat. Almonte, however, is hitting just .227, 5-for-22.
LHP Joe Saunders failed to make it through five innings Thursday, giving up three runs on 11 hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings. He has allowed a home run in 16 of his 29 starts. He has allowed 212 hits and walked 57 in 167 1/3 innings.
RHP Felix Hernandez will not make his Sunday start, but will be pushed back to Wednesday. Hernandez left his Monday start after 6 2/3 innings at Kansas City with a cramp in his lower back. "He's going to go out and play some catch, but we're going to be cautious with him," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We'll get some background work in with him, get another bullpen in, get him off the hill before he throws. And he understands. It's really not going to affect how many starts he gets with how we have it played out, so that's how we're going to do it. We don't want to take any chances with that." The revised rotation has RHPs Erasmo Ramirez and Taijuan Walker on Sunday and Monday and LHP Joe Saunders on Tuesday.