For the first half of the season
Mitch Williams Jersey , Marco Gonzales was a pain in the neck for opposing batters.But recently, it’s a pain in his neck that’s kept Gonzales sidelined.The left-hander has missed his past two starts but threw a 35-pitch session off the mound last Friday and is expected to come off the disabled list Tuesday to start the series opener against the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field.Article continues below ...“I was dealing with some fatigue, some neck aches, some things I was battling through and trying to push through, hoping it would get better,” Gonzales told “So, putting that aside, I think there’s not going to be anything stopping me from returning to what I was doing before.”Gonzales was 12-5 with a 3.37 ERA through his first 21 starts this season. But in August he was 0-4 with a 10.35 ERA in four appearances.“I want to see the same guy we saw in June and July,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He was cruising. He does feel fine physically and is throwing all his pitches in the bullpen. He probably won’t go as long. First time out, you’re probably looking at 75 pitches or something like that. Again, we just want to see him healthy, executing pitches and feeling good about things.”Gonzales admitted being on the DL for the past 10 days while his teammates have tried to stay in the American League playoff race has been frustrating. The Mariners have dropped 7 1 /2 games behind Oakland in the chase for the league’s second and final wild-card berth.“Those are obviously very important starts,” he told “The opponents are very important that we’re going to be facing Dave Cash Jersey , so I won’t take it lightly. I’ve been anxious and champing at the bit the past couple weeks as I’ve been waiting to get back out there.”The Padres are scheduled to start right-hander Bryan Mitchell (1-3, 6.58 ERA) in the opener of the two-game series. Mitchell will be making his second start since missing three months with a right elbow impingement. In his first appearance off the DL on Sept. 3, Mitchell allowed one run and two hits in five innings of a 6-2 victory against Arizona.“I’m just trying to take things one start at a time,” Mitchell told “I know nothing’s guaranteed at this point. But it’s definitely a good stepping stone moving forward. (The Arizona game) felt really good after the way the season’s gone for me. I needed that one.”With off days and a six-man rotation, Mitchell has had plenty of rest since his last start.“If they have six or seven days off in between, it’s not going to hurt them at this point in the season,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “I don’t think we have a huge plan to alter this rotation. (Mitchell) did a solid job (against Arizona), and we want him to continue to build off it.”Neither Mitchell nor Gonzales (12-9, 4.32) has ever faced Tuesday’s opponent before.The Padres swept a two-game series between the teams in late August in San Diego, winning 2-1 and 8-3. DETROIT (AP) — Starling Marte dropped down a sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning of Pittsburgh’s game against Detroit. Not exactly the norm for the slugging outfielder — but a sign of how much he’s struggled early this season.Later, with the score tied in the 10th, it was time to swing away.Marte’s two-run homer lifted the Pirates to a 5-3 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night. It was only the second home run of the season for Marte, who is hitting .213.“You saw him take the game in his own hands earlier and put down a bunt. There’s no bunt sign on. He wanted to bunt ,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He put down the bunt the one time, and then had a couple punchouts. And then, what a sweet swing.”Jung Ho Kang also went deep for Pittsburgh, which blew a 3-0 lead but recovered to win when Marte hit a two-out drive off Shane Greene (0-1). Detroit’s closer hadn’t allowed a run all season.“Breaking ball,” Marte said. “Slider, I think. Gave me a pitch right in the middle. Didn’t try to do too much. Just tried to hit the ball up the middle.”Keone Kela (1-0) gave up a tying single by Jeimer Candelario in the ninth, but Nick Kingham was able to close out the Tigers in the 10th for his first career save.Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove permitted his first two earned runs of the season but was otherwise impressive. He yielded six hits and a walk while striking out six in seven innings.Tigers starter Matthew Boyd struck out the side in the first but eventually allowed three runs in seven innings.Pittsburgh opened the scoring on an RBI infield single by Pablo Reyes in the second. With runners on first and third and two outs, Reyes hit a weak grounder to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who looked to throw to second for a force, only to realize he had no play there. That initial reaction also cost him any chance of a play at first.The Tigers wasted an opportunity in the third when Gordon Beckham hit a leadoff double and Grayson Greiner followed with a single. Beckham was sent home on Greiner’s hit and was thrown out at the plate by Reyes from left field.“When the ball is hit to the left side, you freeze for a second to make sure it gets through, because you don’t want to run into an out,” Beckham said. “We wanted to force the issue and he made a great throw.”Kang’s two-run homer in the fourth made it 3-0. He’s just 6 for 42 on the season Aaron Nola Jersey , but two of those hits are home runs.The Tigers scored two runs in their half of the fourth. Cabrera came home on a passed ball, and Christin Stewart hit an RBI double.Musgrove had allowed no earned runs in 15 1/3 innings entering the game.Pittsburgh closer Felipe Vázquez, who pitched two innings at Washington on Sunday, was given the night off.FAMILIAR FACEJosh Harrison, who went from the Pirates to the Tigers in the offseason via free agency, went hitless against his former team.“I’ve got guys over there that I played with, a lot of good friendships, but there’s no added motivation or anything,” Harrison said before the game. “As far as I’m concerned, they’re another opponent — trying to win a series.”Detroit also added former Pittsburgh infielder Jordy Mercer, but he’s on the injured list right now after straining his quad.TRAINER’S ROOMPirates: Reinstated RHP Kyle Crick (right triceps) from the 10-day injured list and optioned INF Kevin Kramer to Triple-A Indianapolis.Tigers: Nicholas Castellanos (toe) played for the first time since Wednesday, going 1 for 5 as the DH.UP NEXTPirates: RHP Trevor Williams (1-0) starts Wednesday night in the finale of this two-game series. Williams threw six no-hit innings in a win at Detroit last April.Tigers: Spencer Turnbull (0-2) takes the mound for Detroit.

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