Mariners home opener also debut of ballpark's new look

SEATTLE — Thursday is the home opener for the Seattle Mariners as they take on defending World Series champs the Boston Red Sox.

It's also the debut of what is now T-Mobile Park.

It will probably take some getting used to for a lot of fans, with its magenta re-branding, as the Mariners take on the defending world series champ the Boston Red Sox.

Also new this year is all tickets will now be either digital on your phone, mailed to you or at will call You can no longer print them at home before coming to the park.

Fans will also find a new cocktail and high-speed charging stations. There are also perks just for T-Mobile customers, such as a dedicated fast track entrance, an enhanced network experience and surprise giveaways.

Like last year, there is no re-entry into the ball park once you leave.

Pre-game festivities

Pre-game festivities will start at 3:30 p.m. with a live show from Macklemore in The 'Pen. Get there early though, as capacity is limited to 2,000, according to 710 AM ESPN staff, but it will also be shown on the big screen known as MarinersVision.

Then at 3:53 p.m., Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready will play the National Anthem, followed by a flyover by an EA-18G Growler from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by new Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez at 4:03 p.m. Game time is 4:10 p.m.

Fans at the home opener will be getting some fun swag including a souvenir pin and a magenta towel saying T-Mobile, new name, more mojo.

M's take on defending World Series champs

This will be just the second time the Red Sox have ever opened their season against the Mariners, according to Mariners.com.

The Mariners, who are 2-0 after a pair of victories over Oakland in Tokyo last week, are beginning what they hope is a relatively short rebuild to again be contenders. They've already reshuffled their roster since playing in Japan — Ichiro Suzuki retired at 45 after two hitless games in his homeland.

Marco Gonzales will pitch his second opening day for Seattle after throwing six innings in Japan and earning the victory. Gonzales (1-0) was far from his best against Oakland in the first opener, but was able to make adjustments and settle down enough to keep the Mariners in the game.

"He's a really good competitor. He figured out a way to make it work and he learned a lot from that, so hopefully he can build upon that," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "I say that, and I hope he's got his 'A' game, his 'A' stuff right out of the chute, but some nights you don't have it, and you've got to still figure out a way and he did."

Gonzales said the scope of all that was happening in Japan and being out of the normal routine was a tough adjustment to make, but may have helped prepare him for the hoopla of a traditional opening day back home.

"The one in Tokyo was something I will remember forever," Gonzales said. "I will have some more family here on Thursday and some friends, my grandparents and people that have been there for every step of the way since I've been able to walk to seen me throw a baseball. So it's special to a lot of people. I'm trying to focus on making it a normal game but it's been a collective effort throughout a lifetime for a lot of people and I've been at the forefront of that for sure but there have been a lot of people who have helped me along the way."

The M's lineup follows:

1) Dee Gordon, 2B
2) Mitch Haniger, RF
3) Jay Bruce, 1B
4) Edwin Encarnacion, DH
5) Domingo Santana, LF
6) Omar Narváez, C
7) Ryon Healy, 3B
8) Tim Beckham, SS
9) Mallex Smith, C


AP freelance writer Carrie Muskat contributed to this report.