Seattle pounded out 13 hits and used a nine-run second inning to get back on the winning track, beating the hapless Angels 11-8 Friday at Safeco Field. Seattle survived the Angels’ four-run first inning and four more in the the ninth to snap a five-game losing streak. Closer Edwin Diaz came on to get the final out, inducing Mike Trout to fly out to center with two runners on base. For those who haven’t turned your entire attention to the Seahawk, Seattle (69-65) rmains four games behind Baltimore and Detroit in the crowded AL wild-card race.
The second inning took away the pain, but it was hard to ignore Trout hitting another three-run homer – his third in the Angels’ past four games at Safeco Field – in the first. That’s right: Trout has put the Mariners in a 3-0 hole before the Angels’ first out three times in four games here. What’s even more remarkable? Seattle won all three.
LHP Ariel Miranda gave up the four in the first, begging the question: Why, again, did the Mariners choose this guy over Wade LeBlanc? The rookie shook out of it to get through six innings in what turned out to be one of his more impressive outings since being traded from Baltimore.
RHP Evan Scribner, acquired in an offseason trade with Oakland, finally made his Mariners’ debut by pitching a 1-2-3 eighth. Scribner hurt his back in spring training and was activated from the disabled list Thursday.
After the initial outburst, Seattle pitchers held the Angels to just two hits from the second through eighth before RHP Arquimedes Caminero gave up four hits, a walk and four runs in the ninth, his only inning of work. Caminero was so bad that rookie Dan Altavilla had to come on, only to serve up a two-run single that forced the Mariners to use Diaz for a one-out save. Trout worked the count full before taking Diaz deep, but not deep enough, with two runners on base.
The second inning included 14 plate appearances. The 11 runs were Seattle’s highest total since July 23, when they beat Toronto 14-5. The Mariners piled up five singles, drew four walks and chased starter Brett Oberholzer. In the eighth, DH Nelson Cruz, the only starter without a hit, an RBI or a run scored over the first two innings, jumped into the act with his 33rd home run of the season.
SS Ketel Marte (2-for-5, three RBIs) and 1B Dae-Ho Lee (3-for-5, 2 RBIs) led the offensive outburst. LF Guillermo Heredia added two hits and two RBIs, while RF Ben Gamel, in his Mariners debut, walked twice, scored a run and drove in another.
“You’re always trying to get the closer up and get him in the game if you can. We accomplished that. Diaz made a 3-2 slider to Mike that Mike just missed tying the game. Although I’m not real big on moral victories I think the way we battled back is always important.” — Angels manager Mike Scioscia
“We couldn’t put the nail in the coffin, but we got the win. We needed the win. It was a
good night by the offense.” – Mariners manager Scott Servais
C Jesus Sucre was called up before the game, giving the Mariners a third catcher behind Mike Zunino and Chris Iannetta. Sucre and Gamel were added after the Sept. 1 roster expansions . . . Trout, who was involved in a minor car crash late Wednesday night, was in the lineup Friday after coming out of the incident without injury . . . Oberholtzer had a 4-0 record and 0.75 ERA in four career appearances against Seattle entering Friday. He’s now 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA . . . Before Friday’s game, the Mariners promoted director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara to the role of special assistant to the GM.
While the once-promising 2016 season is headed down the tubes, there are still interesting storylines. One involves RHP Taijuan Walker, the organization’s two-time top prospect. Walker, 25, opened the season as the No. 2 starter and was being looked upon as the possible heir apparent to Felix Hernandez’s role as ace. But things haven’t gone well in what was supposed to be his first full major-league season. Walker (4-9, 4.19 ERA) starts Saturday’s 6:10 p.m. game as he continues to try to prove himself a front-end-of-the-rotation starter The Angels will counter with lefty Tyler Skaggs (2-3, 4.75 ERA).