Iwakuma throws two innings, ready for regular season

Iwakuma throws two innings, ready for regular season

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Hisashi Iwakuma allowed one run on two hits in two innings of work against the Padres' Double-A team on a back field at the Peoria Complex on Thursday, and he said he's on target for his season debut Tuesday with the Mariners in Texas.

The 34-year-old right-hander stayed on his regular schedule by pitching in a Minor League game while most of his teammates had their final off-day of the spring. Iwakuma was on a light workload himself as Seattle continues tapering back its starters in the final week of camp.

"I'm satisfied with where I'm at right now," Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. "I'm ready to go for the season. I just wanted to make some adjustments today, tuning up a few of the pitches. And I was able to do that, so I'm very happy with that."

Iwakuma threw 24 pitches in his two frames, giving up a pair of sharp singles in the first and a walk in the second. He said the blister on the middle finger of his right hand from two weeks ago was not a problem, and he sharpened up his slider and curve in his last spring performance.

Iwakuma also threw in a Minor League game in his previous outing, a six-inning, 81-pitch effort against the Rockies' Triple-A club. Manager Scott Servais said he's unconcerned about the veteran not facing Major League hitters since March 21, when he gave up eight hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings to the Dodgers.

"Zero concern," Servais said. "He's a pro. He goes about it a certain way no matter who he's facing. He'll be ready to roll when we get to Texas."

Iwakuma will be the Mariners' No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez, and he will face Rangers lefty Martin Perez on Tuesday. Iwakuma said he's eager to see how Seattle fares after so many offseason changes.

"It's a well-balanced team," he said. "I think it's functional. The lineup looks longer, which helps us on the pitching staff. I'm looking forward to opening the season with this team. We're all very happy with the team we have as a whole."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.