PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) _ The Seattle Mariners will start the season with a rotation of Freddy Garcia, John Halama, Aaron Sele, Jamie Moyer, and Paul Abbott.

Manager Lou Piniella said Friday that Garcia, Halama, and Sele will pitch the Mariners' first series April 2-4, in order, against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field.

He said Moyer will start the first game of Seattle's road trip April 6 at Texas against former Mariners All-Star shortstop Alex Rodriguez and the Rangers. Abbott will get the starting nod over Brett Tomko as Seattle's No. 5 starter April 7 in Texas.

``The matchups and how we put our rotation together for the rest of the month had a lot to do with how we put our rotation together,'' Piniella said. ``We broke up our left-handers.''

Garcia, Sele, and Abbott are right-handers; Halama and Moyer are lefties.

Piniella decided to go with experience. Abbott had 27 starts last season to eight for Tomko. But Tomko will be ready to start if the Mariners need him.

``We're going to continue to stretch both of them out until the end of spring training,'' Piniella said.

Garcia earned the opening night assignment against the defending AL West champion Athletics by beating the New York Yankees twice in the AL championship series.

Halama was 14-9, Sele had a 17-10 record, Moyer was 13-10 despite struggling in August and September, and Abbott was 9-7 last season.

``We've got basically what you would call a veteran staff,'' Piniella said. ``I think once we get out of here and get in cooler weather, these guys will pitch well.''