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Ohtani (ankle) set to start today vs. Mariners

MLB.com @mi_guardado

SEATTLE -- Shohei Ohtani will return to the mound and pitch against the Mariners in this afternoon's series finale at Safeco Field.

Ohtani missed his scheduled start against the Orioles on Tuesday with a mild left ankle sprain, but he threw a 30-pitch bullpen Friday without incident and showed enough progress to convince the Angels to clear him to pitch for the first time since April 24.

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SEATTLE -- Shohei Ohtani will return to the mound and pitch against the Mariners in this afternoon's series finale at Safeco Field.

Ohtani missed his scheduled start against the Orioles on Tuesday with a mild left ankle sprain, but he threw a 30-pitch bullpen Friday without incident and showed enough progress to convince the Angels to clear him to pitch for the first time since April 24.

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"He feels good today," manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday. "He had a great bullpen. He came out of last night's game with no residual effects, so he's good to go."

Ohtani is 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA, nine walks and 26 strikeouts over 20 1/3 innings as a right-handed pitcher this season. He came away with a no-decision in his most recent outing after yielding four runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Astros. Sunday will mark his first pitching appearance against the Mariners.

The 23-year-old two-way phenom said earlier this week that he was eager to return to the mound after the long layoff.

"It's been awhile since my last start, so I'm a little anxious," Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "But I just have to concentrate. This is going to be my next big test."

Ohtani does not hit on days before his starts, so he was not in the Angels' lineup Saturday night. A left-handed batter, Ohtani is hitting .339 with a 1.018 OPS, four home runs and 14 RBIs. He drew a rain of boos from the fans at Safeco Field during his at-bats Friday, and he will likely receive a similar reception Sunday. The Mariners had been viewed as one of the frontrunners to land Ohtani before he decided to sign with the Angels in December.

"I'm not really used to being booed," Ohtani said Friday. "It was probably my first time, so it felt kind of awkward and a little weird."

Worth noting

Kole Calhoun did not start Saturday against Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales. Calhoun is batting .167 with a .405 OPS, the lowest mark among qualified batters in the Majors. Calhoun has struck out 33 times while drawing just four walks.

"I think he's trying to work through some things," Scioscia said. "Just hasn't been able to translate them out there on the field yet. He's making some progress."

Chris Young started in right field in place of Calhoun on Saturday.

Matt Shoemaker (right forearm strain) completed a bullpen session Friday and is scheduled to throw off the mound again Sunday. Shoemaker made only one start for the Angels this season before landing on the disabled list April 3.

"He felt really good, and that was a good sign," Scioscia said. "Put good effort into it. No residual effects. Hopefully he's on the right track."

Parker Bridwell (right elbow inflammation) has resumed throwing off the mound and is progressing well, according to Scioscia. Bridwell, who is currently on Triple-A Salt Lake's roster, has been sidelined since April 27.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani