MLB Game Preview - Mariners v Braves

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Seattle0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 052
Atlanta0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 x 4110
  W: L. Sims (2-3)   L: M. Gonzales (0-1)
4:35 PM PT5:35 PM MT6:35 PM CT7:35 PM ET19:35 ET23:35 GMT7:35 4:35 PM MST6:35 PM EST7:05 PM VEN3:35 UAE (+1)6:35 PM CT, August 22, 2017
SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 22,947

Rookies face off for Mariners, Braves

ATLANTA -- Two promising rookies, both making their fifth big-league start of the season, will oppose each other Tuesday when the Atlanta Braves host the Seattle Mariners in the second game of a three-game series.

Atlanta sends home-grown right-hander Lucas Sims (1-3, 5.24 ERA) against Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales (0-0, 8.44 ERA overall) at SunTrust Park.

The Mariners opened the series with a 6-5 win on Monday. Seattle has won four of its last five games and is just one game out of the American League wild-card race.

Sims, Atlanta's first-round draft choice in 2012, grew up in the northeastern Atlanta suburbs. He worked his way through the club's minor league system and was the organization's pitcher of the year in 2013.

Sims began the year at Triple-A Gwinnett and went 7-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 20 appearances, 19 of them starts. He had 132 strikeouts and only 36 walks in 115 1/3 innings for the G-Braves.

He made his major league debut against the Dodgers on Aug. 1 and took a loss despite allowing only three runs in six innings.

Sims got his first career win in his most recent start on Thursday at Colorado. He allowed two runs over five innings at Coors Field in a game the Braves won 10-4.

"The biggest thing is his competitiveness, how he's handled himself," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "He's had to get through some adversity, but he's never stopped pitching. On the outside, a lot of things are good. He's athletic, he can field his position, he can control the running game and he can hit a little bit once he gets some at-bats. It's been good."

Gonzales, who played at Gonzaga University, was the first-round draft choice of St. Louis in 2013 and made his major league debut for the Cardinals in 2014. He sat out the 2016 season with left elbow surgery, but he returned to go 6-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 11 starts this year for Triple-A Memphis.

He was acquired by the Mariners on July 21 in exchange for outfield prospect Tyler O'Neill and assigned to Triple-A Tacoma. Gonzales was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA for the Rainiers before being called up to make his first start for Seattle on Aug. 6.

His results have been spotty. In his most recent start last Wednesday, Gonzales received no decision while pitching 4 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on nine hits against the Baltimore Orioles. In four starts this season -- one came with the Cardinals -- Gonzales has not completed five innings, and he has allowed four or more runs three times.

However, Gonzales possesses an impressive arm, and he likely will stay in the rotation for the final six weeks.

"He's a young pitcher," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "I still really like his stuff. He's going to have to do a little better job navigating to get deep in games. Going out for the fifth, you think he's in great shape and then it happens rather quickly for him.

"But he's going to be on our rotation. We'll go forward with him, and he'll continue to learn and get better."

Updated August 22, 2017

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