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Gonzales looks to impress brass in final start

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

Marco Gonzales, one of the Mariners' hopes for their future pitching plans, will get one last start this season on Friday as Seattle opens a three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim that will bring down the curtain on the 2017 campaign.

The Angels will counter with southpaw Tyler Skaggs. The 26-year-old, who missed three months from May through July with a strained oblique muscle, has made 10 starts since his return, including 6 1/3 scoreless innings with five hits in a no-decision at Safeco Field on Aug. 10.

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Marco Gonzales, one of the Mariners' hopes for their future pitching plans, will get one last start this season on Friday as Seattle opens a three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim that will bring down the curtain on the 2017 campaign.

The Angels will counter with southpaw Tyler Skaggs. The 26-year-old, who missed three months from May through July with a strained oblique muscle, has made 10 starts since his return, including 6 1/3 scoreless innings with five hits in a no-decision at Safeco Field on Aug. 10.

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The Mariners and Angels hung in the American League Wild Card chase into the season's final days despite both going through considerable injuries to their pitching staffs. Los Angeles was eliminated from contention Wednesday night, clinching the second Wild Card spot for the Minnesota Twins. 

Gonzales, a 25-year-old rookie left-hander, was one of several starters Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto added at midseason to try to bolster his rotation. Gonzales, just a year removed from Tommy John surgery, has gone 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA in nine appearances since being acquired from the Cardinals for outfield prospect Tyler O'Neill.

Gonzales has made six starts with the Mariners, going 1-1 with a 7.01 ERA. But he's pitched better in September, posting a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings over four appearances, including one start. Now he'll get one last turn in the rotation after Seattle shut down veterans Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake following the team's elimination from playoff contention.

Things to know about this game

• The Mariners are hoping to get shortstop Jean Segura back in their lineup after he missed four games with a sprained right middle finger. Segura is batting .301 as Seattle's primary leadoff hitter.

• Per Statcast, Gonzales' 24.2-percent called-strike rate this month ranks fourth in MLB (minimum 150 pitches). The lefty has started off more than 44 percent of opponents with a called strike during that time.

• Gonzales' second start with the Mariners in August came against the Angels, as he threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and one run in a 6-5 loss in Seattle.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011.