Erasmo Ramirez continued Tuesday night what Felix Hernandez started the previous night — dominating the Angels lineup — with seven innings of six-hit ball in the Mariners’ 8-3 triumph in Anaheim. He was backed by another big night from Justin Smoak, this time a three-run double, as well as two home runs by Brad Miller.
Ramirez looked every bit the No. 2 starter while striking out six and walking none, needing only 93 pitches. His only mistake came in the fourth inning when his former Seattle teammate, Raul Ibanez, ended his own strikeout string with a two-run homer. Ramirez retired the final 11 Angels he faced, whiffing star Mike Trout twice.
In the third, after Dustin Ackley and John Buck singled, leadoff hitter Abraham Almonte had a double that scored Ackley. After Miller struck out, Angels starter C.J. Wilson, who gave up six Seattle runs in 5.2 innings that took 114 pitches, intentionally walked Robinson Cano to load the bases.
Smoak, who singled in his first at-bat, made the Angels pay when he lined a double into deep left center to clear the bases for a 4-0. After Ibanez picked up two, Miller’s homer made it 5-2. In the sixth, DH Corey Hart, in his first game as a Mariner, singled and went to second on a wild pitch, from where he scored on a double from Ackley.
In the eighth, the Angels scored when Cano, attempting to complete an inning-ending double play, threw wildly to first, plat Albert Pujols, who doubled. Further damage was averted when lefty Joe Beimel, relieving Tom Wilhelmsen, picked off David Freese at first before throwing his first pitch — only the third such play in Mariners history.
In the ninth, Miller teed up reliever Michael Kohn for his second home run, scoring Ackley, who walked. In the first two games, the Mariners have 18 runs on 14 extra-base hits.
The Mariners attempt the series sweep starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday when James Paxton faces Hector Santiago.
I like the start lots of positives
Jeff likes something? Wow. This is big.
We’ve all been down on the Mariners, myself included (and for good reason), but there really is some talent on board. As much as we have to hold our breaths with the pitching, the problem there is with the inexperience, not the arms. And what IS it with Miller and two-homer games? Didn’t he have three or four of those last year?
There are 160 games ahead so it’s way to early to start getting giddy but, like Jeff says, beating a healthy Angels team twice in Anaheim is a nice way to start the regular season.
Presuming a return to health by Iwakuma/Walker, it’s reasonable to see an above average top 3 that includes Ramirez. Then either Walker or Paxton needs to be nearly MLB average to create a contending rotation.
Well, that was interesting. I thought the Angels would most likely bounce back last night after dropping the opener. CJ Wilson didn’t look very good last night and the Angels bats couldn’t keep him in the game. I’ve been wondering if the Angels don’t make the playoffs this year, or have a losing season will Mike Sciosa return as manager?
Not willing to bandwagon on the M’s yet, too many disappointments in the past 13 years. But pleasantly surprised the past couple games. Toying with dropping Aybar from my fantasy team and picking up Miller.
All are entitled to keep one eyebrow cocked through April. Then check in.
If they end up having a winning record in April, I predict 83 wins. If they don’t, 69.