Angels sluggers Mike Trout and C.J. Cron each hit a pair of homers, and the Mariners ran out of offense in a 7-3 loss Friday night at Safeco (box score). Seattle has not won back-to-back games in July, which is only half-bad when considering that the Mariners haven’t lost two in a row, either. They’re finally playing like a .500 team . . . no more than that.
Trout’s first homer, a 415-foot shot to centerfield, was worth the price of admission. Seeing the best hitter in baseball, in his prime, do what he does best was a must-see moment for even the most diehard Mariners fan. That it gave the Angels a 3-1 lead in the third inning, turning the tide for the night, only added to the moment.
Starter Mike Montgomery finally fell to earth when he turned in the worst start of his young career. Montgomery pitched a career-low five innings while allowing highs of eight hits and five runs. Home runs continue to be the thorn in the side of Seattle pitchers.
The Mariners got off to a promising start with three base hits and a run in the first inning, but they had nothing to offer Los Angeles starter Hector Santiago after that. Coming on the heels of a 19-hit night Thursday, the performance felt a little bit like following a sirloin steak dinner with an Egg McMuffin breakfast.
“We didn’t give ourselves a chance tonight. The long ball hurt us.” –manager Lloyd McClendon
CF Austin Jackson (back spasms) was not in the lineup for the second day in a row. He told reporters before the game that he might sit out the entire series . . . The absence of Jackson, and a left-handed starter on the mound for the Angels, led the Mariners to put a unique lineup on the field. 1B Jesus Montero got his first start of the season (1 for 3), while SS Chris Taylor batted leadoff for the first time in his career . . . The highlight of Saturday’s game may well come before the first batter steps into the box. Evelyn Jones, a 108-year-old Woodinville resident, is scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch. The oldest person to throw out a first pitch was 104, meaning Jones would make MLB history.
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 7.17 ERA) is back on the mound for the second time since coming off the disabled list. Fans in the stands in right-center field might want to bring a glove, as Iwakuma served up four home runs his last time out and already given up nine in four starts this season. LHP C.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.82 ERA) is expected to be on the mound for the Angels.