After three straight series wins, the Mariners split a four-game set with the Angels. They return home for a weekend series with the Milwaukee Brewers.
King Felix was sent to the mound by the Mariners to start the series and other than an RBI double in the second by Nick Buss and a home run by Felix’s nemesis, Mike Trout, Hernandez held the Halos down. He struck out eight Angels hitters and allowed just the two runs over 6 and 1/3 innings of work.
Hernandez got some support from the offense in the middle innings thanks to RBI singles by Adam Lind and Mike Zunino in the fourth inning, and a Nelson Cruz solo blast in the fifth.
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The three runs and 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings from the bullpen assisted a great Felix Hernandez performance and gave the Mariners a 3-2 win to start off the series.
Game One Notes:
Player of the Game: Long live the King, Felix Hernandez! For some reason, Trout always takes him deep, but he gave up just two runs and gave the Mariners an opportunity to win the game.
Edwin Diaz is seven for seven in save opportunities now. If not for the amazing season by Michael Fulmer of the Detroit Tigers, he’d be in the conversation for AL Rookie of the Year.
Tom Wilhelmsen coming in to get that last out of the seventh against Trout was huge. Even though he hit it hard, the Bartender owns him.
Powered by the long ball, the Angels were able to steal game two away from the Mariners thanks to some late inning heroics.
Mike Trout got the scoring started off of Mariners’ starter Ariel Miranda with a sacrifice fly in the first.
Ketel Marte, who has been struggling at the plate of late, bunted for a base hit which scored Mike Zunino and Seth Smith singled in Martin and Marte to make it a 3-1 lead in the second.
Kyle Seager extended the lead to 4-1 with an RBI single of his own in the fifth.
Albert Pujols tied the game with a 3-run blast which scored Trout and Kole Calhoun in the 6th, and Jett Bandy hit a solo shot two batters later to give the Angels a 5-4 lead.
A strong seventh inning off of former Mariner J.C. Ramirez gave the Mariners a 6-5 lead after a wild pitch scored Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager hit a sacrifice fly to score Nelson Cruz.
Then Arquimedes Caminero had his first rough outing since joining the Mariners. Jefrey Marte hit a solo home run and Cliff Pennington tripled in a run and Seattle was down 7-6.
Fernando Salas came in and slammed the door and the Angels held on to win 7-6 and even the series at a game a piece.
Game Two Notes:
Norichika Aoki had three hits in the leadoff spot which is always nice to see.
They really pitched around Trout today. He had just one at-bat despite making four plate appearances.
Leaving eight men on base is never a good recipe for victory.
Nick Vincent really struggled today, especially against right handed hitters which is supposed to be his bread and butter.
Some small ball and a tremendous defensive play propelled the Mariners past the Angels in the third game of the series.
Cody Martin got the spot start after recently being recalled from AAA Tacoma and lasted just 4 and 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. The runs came when Albert Pujols drove in Yunel Escobar, and Jefrey Marte hit a sacrifice fly to score Calhoun and suddenly, Seattle was down 2-0 after the first inning.
The Mariners tied the game up in the top of the second after Chris Iannetta hit a soft infield single between the shortstop and third baseman which allowed Nelson Cruz to score from third base, and Leonys Martin hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Kyle Seager and tie the game at 2-2.
Ketel Marte added another run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth to score Iannetta, and a bunt single by Shawn O’Malley scored Leonys Martin all the way from second base thanks to his speed and awareness and the Mariners had a 4-2 lead.
After Martin got pulled from the game, Drew Storen, Vidal Nuno, Arquimedes Caminero and Tom Wilhelmsen threw a combined 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings as the bridge to closer Edwin Diaz.
Diaz had his first real rocky 9th inning in the Majors. Yunel Escobar, who went 5-5 this game, drove in a run to make it 4-3 in the 9th. With the bases loaded and two outs, Andrelton Simmons had a 3-1 count, and Diaz threw a big slider to get him swinging and make it a 3-2 count. The next pitch, Simmons tomahawked the ball down the third base line for what appeared to be a game winning hit, but Kyle Seager dove, fielded the ball, and fired a one hop across the diamond which Dae-Ho Lee picked and the Mariners held on to a nail biter 4-3 win.
Game Three Notes:
Player of the Game: How can I give it to anyone besides Kyle Seager? That play was unreal. I thought he saved the game-winning run from scoring but had no belief he would fire a bullet to first and actually end the game.
Iannetta had two hits which is a rare sight to see.
I hate to say this, but maybe it’s time to look at someone besides Franklin Gutierrez as the right handed outfielder platoon-mate of Seth Smith. He really hasn’t done much in a while. Maybe it’s time to take another look at Heredia.
Despite a promising start to the game after a Robinson Cano first inning blast, the Mariners struggled with runners in scoring position and the series ended with a split.
Albert Pujols and Andrelton Simmons each drove in a run to take a 2-1 lead after the 1st inning of of Hisashi Iwakuma. Jett Bandy hit a solo home run in the 5th to make it a 3-1 Angels’ lead.
Nelson Cruz hit his 31st home run of the season off of Matt Shoemaker in the sixth and cut the lead to 3-2.
Nick Vincent had another rough outing and gave up a 2-run double to Albert Pujols and a RBI single to Jefrey Marte and the lead was then 6-2.
Mike Zunino hit a 2-run blast in the 9th to make it 6-4 but that was all the Mariners could muster and they lost the game 6-4 and leave Anaheim with a series split.
Game Four Notes:
0-8 with runners in scoring position is almost never going to win games. All the runs came via the long ball for Seattle this game.
Nick Vincent had another rough outing. Ouch.
It appears that the Mariners are rolling with a five-man bullpen with Diaz, Nuno, Wilhelmsen, Caminero and Storen. No one else is stepping up for them in that regard.
WIth Milwaukee being Milwaukee, hopefully the Mariners can put together a nice three-game sweep in front of the fans at Safeco.
When the Yankees come to town next week, Ken Griffey Jr. will join the booth for ESPN for the game on Tuesday.
The MLB approved the sale of the Mariners from Nintendo to the group led by John Stanton.
Luis Sardinas was traded to the San Diego Padres for cash.