For the second night in a row, the Mariners (8-8) scored three runs in the 10th inning, this time against the Angels (7-10), for a 5-2 win in Anaheim Friday night (box). Nelson Cruz followed Franklin Gutierrez’s pinch-hit RBI single with a two-run homer to put away a third consecutive win and the fifth win in seven games on the road trip. Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight innings and gave up two runs and five hits, retiring the final 10 hitters he faced.
Against new reliever Jose Alvarez, SS Ketel Marte opened the 10th with a single on the first pitch and was sacrificed to second by LF Nori Aoki. Gutierrez, pinch-hitting for Seth Smith, singled to center to score the go-ahead run. One out later, Cruz hit a two-run home run, his third, to start 40,755 fans on their way home.
The Mariners also won the series finale Thursday in Cleveland in 10 innings when Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer.
The Mariners’ two runs in the first came on consecutive sacrifice flies by Cruz and Adam Lind. The Angels scored two in the fourth on consecutive home runs by Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron.
Lind and Marte each had two hits.
Iwakuma, who found out Friday afternoon that he was starting because Felix Hernandez was scratched (flu), gave up one walk with three strikeouts on 89 pitches. He pitched on normal rest.
Iwakuma combined with Joel Peralta (ninth) and Steve Cishek (10th) to retire the final 16 Angels hitters. Peralta in the ninth went 1-2-3 against the 3-4-5 hitters in the Angels lineup, although Albert Pujols nearly ended the game when his 10-pitch at-bat ended on a full-count, deep fly caught at the center field wall.
“I can’t say enough about our pitching . . . really good. Peralta did a great job.” – Mariners manager Scott Servais
“We’re having a lot of fun. It’s a shame you guys aren’t in the dugout.” — Cruz, to reporters
The outcome was the Mariners’ eighth decided by one run . . . The win for Peralta, his first, made it eight wins for eight Mariners pitchers . . . For the April 30 game against Kansas City, the start was moved back an hour to 6:10 p.m. to accommodate the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure as well as the crowd exiting from the 1 p.m. Sounders game at the Clink . . . Servais made his first return to Anaheim, where he worked as the assistant GM in charge of scouting and player development the pasf four years under new Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, who did not make the trip.
The series’ second game is at 6:10 p.m. Saturday when Hernandez (1-1, 1.00 ERA), if healthy, starts against Hector Santiago (1-0, 2.61). Mike Montgomery is prepared to make an emergency start. Hernandez has walked 13 in his 18 innings pitched, and needs one strikeout to break Randy Johnson’s franchise record of 2,162, and is one win shy of Jamie Moyer’s franchise record of 145.