|Mariners' Paxton gets his shot at Angels|
Seattle Mariners left-hander James Paxton will finally get a chance to stare down the Los Angeles Angels.
After missing the Angels in their nine games in Seattle earlier this season, Paxton is scheduled to start Thursday night in the series finale at Angel Stadium.
Paxton (8-3, 3.49 ERA) hasn't missed his turn in the rotation this season, and his 20 starts put him among the major league leaders.
He has also pitched well against the Angels in his career, owning a 4-2 record and 2.07 ERA in 11 starts. That includes a 2-1 record at Angel Stadium with a 1.64 ERA in five turns, but the three times the Angels traveled to Seattle (58-35) this season, he had pitched on one of the two previous days.
Paxton wasn't scheduled to face the Angels (47-46) on Thursday either, but veteran right-hander Felix Hernandez was scratched from the start and placed on the 10-day disabled list with lower-back pain.
Paxton was scheduled to start Friday in the series opener against the Rockies in Colorado, but an off day Monday enables him to move up a day in the rotation and remain on normal rest.
"That will give Pax an extended break through the All-Star break," Seattle manager Scott Servais told MLB.com on Wednesday. "We've tried to map it out and take advantage of the break the best we can to give these guys a blow. We're still putting together plans on how we come out of the break, when we have a three-game series and then another off-day, a two-game series and another off-day, so this is really a time for our guys to kind of recharge the batteries a little."
Marco Gonzalez, another Seattle left-hander, made his fourth start against the Angels this season and shut them out on two hits over seven innings on Wednesday. The bullpen then finished off the 3-0 win to knot the series at 1-1.
Seattle shortstop Jean Segura, who came up through the Angels organization, learned before the game Wednesday that he had been voted to the last AL roster spot for the All-Star Game in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
He doubled and scored in a two-run fourth inning that gave the Mariners a 3-0 lead.
"I feel really good," he told the Seattle Times before the win. "I feel proud of the way my teammates have supported me along with the fans in Seattle, the media, the organization."
Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs is scheduled to come off the 10-day DL and make the start in the series finale. Skaggs (6-5, 2.64) missed his last start with a strained right adductor, but is coming off a superb June in which he went 3-1 with a 0.84 ERA in five starts.
"He's been very consistent," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters Wednesday. "He's pitched well when he hasn't had his best stuff."
Skaggs, who will turn 27 on Friday, has faced the Mariners once this season, allowing two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings May 5. He left with a 4-2 lead, but the bullpen gave up a lead three times before Seattle eventually won 9-8 in 11 innings.
In eight career starts against Seattle, Skaggs is 1-2 with a 4.63 ERA.
Injuries to the Angels pitching staff have become a major concern this season.
On Wednesday, it was learned right-hander Garrett Richards has an injured ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. Richards is the fifth pitcher for Los Angeles to be diagnosed with a UCL injury this season, and 11 have gone on the DL overall.