Mariners activate Iwakuma after finger injury

Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was activated by the Seattle Mariners from Major League Baseball`s disabled list on Saturday to start on the mound against the Houston Astros.

The 33-year-old right-hander, who finished third in last year`s American League Cy Young Award voting, began the season in March on the injury list with a torn extensor tendon in his right middle finger.

Iwakuma, who did not appear in a pre-season training game, went 14-6 with a 2.66 earned-run average over 33 starts last season.

Iwakuma spent five seasons with Japan`s Kintetsu Buffaloes and six more with the Rakuten Eagles before leaving his homeland after the 2011 season to join the Mariners.

Seattle sent relief pitcher Lucas Luetge to their top developmental club to make room on the roster for Iwakuma.

The Mariners are off to a 12-15 start to the season, five games adrift of AL West division leader Oakland, while Houston has the worst record in the American League at 10-19.

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