Spring Training Preview: Hisashi Iwakuma, Kenta Maeda Duel As Dodgers Host Mariners
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers limped out of their split-squad action on Sunday as they dropped both games and had another starting pitcher — Mike Bolsinger — go down with an injury. Bolsinger, who was seemingly anointed the fifth starter, believes he’ll miss one week with an oblique strain.

Scott Van Slyke was also a scratch on Sunday, as he’s suffering from a minor hip flexor that’s expected to keep him out of the lineup a few days. On Monday, the Dodgers host the Seattle Mariners in the second of three Spring Training meetings.

Los Angeles defeated Seattle in 10 innings at Peoria Sports Complex on March 12. Monday’s matchup features a pair of Japanese natives as Hisashi Iwakuma and Kenta Maeda duel.

Maeda is making his fourth start of the spring and looking to continue building on strong showings. He’s 1-0, allowed two runs (both unearned) in 8.2 innings pitched thus far, and has eight strikeouts to four walks.

After not issuing a walk in two innings during his debut start, Maeda has walked a pair of batters in each of his last two outings. He’s recorded at least two strikeouts in each appearance.

Iwakuma, who the Dodgers nearly signed to a three-year, $45 million contract during the offseason, also makes his fourth start. After re-signing with the Mariners, Iwakuma said he was in good health despite failing a physical that led to the contract agreement with the Dodgers coming undone.

It was reported in January that Iwakuma and Maeda, who are friends, hoped to be part of the same team in the Majors. Iwakuma is 2-0 with a 5.87 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.

The right-hander threw a combined five scoreless innings over his first two starts, then allowed five runs on seven hits over 2.2 innings pitched against the San Francisco Giants on March 16. Iwakuma faces a Dodgers lineup that’s bolstered by the return of Adrian Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is fresh off helping Team Mexico qualify for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and is one of six left-handed bats in Monday’s lineup — including switch-hitters Yasmani Grandal and Elian Herrera.

Carl Crawford receives another start in left field with Andre Ethier still on the mend after fouling a pitch off his shin last Friday. Ethier is scheduled to have a bone scan on his right leg to determine if there’s an injury the initial x-ray exam did not reveal.

Mariners left fielder/third baseman Shawn O’Malley is batting a blistering .556/.636/1.451 with one home run, four RBIs and five walks in 17 games this spring. Luis Sardiñas leads Seattle with 10 RBIs.

Nelson Cruz is not among those swinging a hot bat, however. He’s hitting .080/.179/.379, albeit in a relatively small sample size — nine games. Cruz didn’t collect his first hit until March 16; he then hit his first home run of Spring Training on March 18.

The Dodgers are mired in a five-game losing streak, while the Mariners have lost three consecutive games — including both split-squad contests on Saturday. A live video stream of Monday’s game can be watched here.

Dodgers lineup:

LF: Carl Crawford
RF: Yasiel Puig
DH: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
3B: Chase Utley
C: Yasmani Grandal
CF: Joc Pederson
SS: Charlie Culberson
2B: Elian Herrera

Mariners lineup:

SS: Ketel Marte
CF: Luis Sardiñas
2B: Robinson Cano
RF: Nelson Cruz
1B: Adam Lind
LF: Stefen Romero
C: Steve Clevenger
DH: Chris Iannetta
3B: Shawn O’Malley