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Dodgers early interleague opens with Brandon McCarthy against the Mariners

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers welcome the Seattle Mariners to Dodger Stadium for the first time in six years with a three-game series beginning Monday night in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers last played the Mariners in 2012, but that was in Seattle. The last time the Mariners played in Los Angeles was June 26-28, 2009, when Seattle took two of three games. In the opener of that series, Andre Ethier hit three home runs.

The Dodgers are 12-13 all-time against the Mariners, including 7-7 at Dodger Stadium.

This is the second earliest calendar date the Dodgers have played an interleague series, trailing only the two-game set against the Tigers at Dodger Stadium last year on April 8-9.

Brandon McCarthy gets the start in the opener, needing just 5⅔ innings to become the 1,196th major league pitcher since 1871 with 1,000 innings in his career.

McCarthy is 2-6 with a 3.88 ERA in 13 career games, including 11 starts, against the Mariners, though he hasn't faced them since 2012. Nelson Cruz has faced him the most, going 5-for-25 (.200) with a home run and a double. Dustin Ackley is 5-for-17 (.294) with a homer, and Robinson Cano is 3-for-11 (.273) with a home run and a walk.

Seth Smith is 3-for-9 (.333) with three doubles against McCarthy, but with Smith in the lineup we are one step closer to baseball nirvana:

James Paxton gets the call for the Mariners, who like the Dodgers went 3-3 in the season's opening week. Paxton allowed two runs in six innings in his first start of 2015, but suffered the loss.

With the left-handed Paxton on the mound, Scott Van Slyke makes his first start of 2015. Van Slyke was the Dodgers' leading hitter against southpaws in 2014, hitting .315/.415/.630 with eight home runs and 10 doubles in 130 plate appearances. Van Slyke is in left field, batting fifth.

Jimmy Rollins gets the night off at shortstop, with Darwin Barney starting in his place. For what I'm assuming is the sake of lineup continuity, Barney is batting in Rollins' leadoff spot despite a career .294 on-base percentage, including .300 in 2014.

Alex Guerrero, fresh off his career game Sunday with a home run, double, single and four RBI, gets another start at third base, with Juan Uribe nursing left hamstring tightness and Justin Turner suffering left finger stiffness after both were injured on Saturday night in Arizona.

The Dodgers were 11-9 in interleague play in 2014.