CF Mike Trout’s booming two-run homer to center in the sixth inning spoiled another solid game for Felix Hernandez, ending the Mariners’ three-game winning streak as the Angels prevailed 4-2 (box) Saturday night in Anaheim.
Trout always has had big success against Hernandez, entering the game with a .368 career average. Trout put the Angels up 3-2 when he jacked his fifth career home run off the King after Rafael Ortega singled to open the inning.
The Mariners’ only runs came on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the first inning by CF Leonys Martin and a solo home run by RF Nelson Cruz in the sixth. The Mariners managed four hits in the six innings of Angels starter Hector Santiago, who struck out seven. 3B Kyle Seager had another o-fer to drop his average to .127.
With a first-inning strikeout that was the 2,163rd of his career, Hernandez broke a tie with Randy Johnson for the club’s career strikeout record. He threw 104 pitches over seven innings and gave up five hits, including a third-inning home run to 2B Cliff Pennington.
“Felix made a mistake to Trout, and he made him pay for it. But Felix gave us a great effort.” — Scott Servais, Mariners manager
“We lost the game.” — Hernandez, when asked about the strikeout record.
Hernandez, who was scheduled to pitch the series opener Friday but was scratched because of the flu, broke the record on the second batter, getting Ortega on a foul tip of a 2-2 changeup that C Chris Iannetta caught. Hernandez is 59th on the career MLB strikeout list with four Saturday for 2,166 . . . Angels DH Albert Pujols is on a career-long 0-for-26 hitless streak. His batting average is .132.
The Mariners wrap up the nine-game road trip (5-3) at 12:35 p.m. Sunday when Wade Miley (0-2, 8.04 ERA) goes against Matt Shoemaker (1-2, 4.70).
Somebody could write a book about Felix’s fatal attraction to pitching to Mike Trout. They could call it “Playing With Fire” or “Walking The Plank” or “Just Shoot Me Now And Get It Over With”.
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