The Mariners pounded out a season-high 19 hits and needed just eight innings to do it, while riding a strong start from Felix Hernandez to end the red-hot Angels’ five-game winning streak, 7-2, (box score) Friday night at Safeco.
The tone was set early on, from the first at-bat. 1B Logan Morrison sent the fifth pitch from Angels starter Garrett Richards into the seats in right-centerfield. The hits kept coming. For a team that has had trouble sustaining momentum, the Mariners grabbed it and kept it.
Hernandez didn’t have his A game – he gave up five hits and walked two – but he pitched his way out of trouble and did not allow a run for the fifth time this season. Fernando Rodney gave up the lone run, on a Kole Calhoun homer in the eighth, so that situation has yet to be resolved. Recalls Danny Farquhar and Vidal Nuno each entered the game, but both struggled in the ninth inning – forcing the Mariners to bring in part-time closer Carson Smith with the bases loaded. Smith needed two pitches to earn his sixth save on a game-ending groundout.
The bats came out, but the feet didn’t always match. The Mariners piled up six hits over the first two innings yet only scored two runs – thanks to a pair of put-outs at home plate from outfield throws. Damage was minimal. Seattle had 12 hits off Richards. That topped the 17 in an April 19 win over Texas. 3B Kyle Seager and DH Nelson Cruz led the way with three hits. RF Mark Trumbo (2 for 2) continues to swing a hot bat, while C Mike Zunino (2 for 2, RBI) and LF Dustin Ackley (2 for 4) also added some rare offense.
“For me, it would be an honor. I would love to start the game. We’ll see.” – RHP Felix Hernandez, on the possibility of his next start coming in Tuesday’s All-Star Game
Manager Lloyd McClendon returned to the dugout after missing three games to attend his younger sister’s funeral . . . CF Austin Jackson (back spasms) was not in the lineup . . . Angels closer Huston Street (groin) might not be available for the series. Not that Los Angeles needed him Thursday night . . . Richards is the last right-handed starter the Mariners will face this series. LHPs Hector Santiago, C.J. Wilson and Andrew Heaney are scheduled to finish off the four-game set . . . The Mariners’ win was delayed as what was ruled to be the game-ending double play in the ninth was challenged by the Angels and overturned. That resulted in the second run of the night for Los Angeles.
How long can LHP Mike Montgomery keep it up? The 25-year-old rookie (4-2, 1.62 ERA) will be back on the mound Friday night, when the Angels send the first of three lefty starters out in Hector Santiago (5-4, 2.40 ERA).
This is the kind of game this team is capable of doing on any given night, at least offensively. The bullpen still has issues it seems. If HoJo can get reassigned at mid-season can bullpen coach Mike Rojas or pitching coach Rick Waits expect the same treatment? With Jack scrambling to save his job are Norm Charlton or Randy Johnson on the horizon? (Probably not.) Thanks to Angels pitching everyone in the lineup got to improve their batting average. Not often you see everyone get a hit.
1 game winning streak! Hooray!