Apr 8, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) and Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (17) celebrate with Seattle Mariners designated hitter Corey Hart (27) at home plate after Hart hit a three-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
In front of a sellout crowd at Safeco Field, Corey Hart blasted two home runs to lead the Mariners over the Angels 5-3 Tuesday night in Seattle. The game was the home opener for the Mariners and the team didn’t disappoint.
James Paxton struggled in the first, allowing back-to-back homers off the bats of Albert Pujols and David Freese in the first inning, giving the Angels a 3-0 lead. But he settled in and retired 14 in a row before allowing his next single.
The Mariners got on the board in the 3rd. With two on and two out, Justin Smoak singled, scoring Brad Miller with the team’s first run. Then Corey Hart launched a 3-run homer to left to put the Mariners ahead 4-3. Hart would strike again in the 7th with a screaming line drive homer to center, for an added insurance run.
With the lead, Paxton looked refreshed. He struck out the side in the 4th and seemed to be untouchable. But in the 6th, after a leadoff single by Kole Calhoun, Paxton’s first pitch to Mike Trout appeared to be uncomfortable and Paxton would leave the game. He was later said to be suffering from a strained lat muscle.
The bullpen did their job. Yoervis Medina, Danny Farquhar and Tom Wilhelmsen pitched three innings on no-hit ball in relief. Fernando Rodney came in and pitched the 9th – struggling at first, walking the first two batters. He settled in and got back to back strikeouts and a fly out to Dustin Ackley to end it.
The M’s finish the short two-game series tonight. Gameday preview coming right here at 10 AM.
HR – A Pujols (1, 1st inning off J Paxton 1 on, 1 Out), D Freese (1, 1st inning off J Paxton 0 on, 1 Out)
RBI – A Pujols 2 (3), D Freese (3)
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out – R Ibanez 1
GIDP – D Freese
Team LOB – 4
E – J Hamilton (2, field)
DP – 1 (H Kendrick-E Aybar-A Pujols)
2B – J Smoak (3, H Santiago); K Seager (3, H Santiago)
HR – C Hart 2 (3, 3rd inning off H Santiago 2 on, 2 Out, 7th inning off F Salas 0 on, 2 Out)
RBI – J Smoak (9), C Hart 4 (5)
2-out RBI – J Smoak, C Hart 4
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out – B Miller 1, S Romero 1, D Ackley 3
GIDP – R Cano
Team LOB – 9
CS – K Seager (1, 2nd base by N Maronde/C Iannetta)
DP – 1 (K Seager-R Cano-J Smoak)
WP – H Santiago, Y Medina
HBP – S Romero (by H Santiago)
Pitches-strikes – H Santiago 94-59; M Kohn 15-7; F Salas 27-12; N Maronde 8-5; K Jepsen 7-6; J Paxton 60-40; Y Medina 15-8; D Farquhar 19-12; T Wilhelmsen 5-3; F Rodney 21-11
Ground balls-fly balls – H Santiago 3-6; M Kohn 0-2; F Salas 1-2; N Maronde 0-1; K Jepsen 1-1; J Paxton 9-4; Y Medina 1-0; D Farquhar 2-2; T Wilhelmsen 0-0; F Rodney 0-1
Batters faced – H Santiago 22; M Kohn 4; F Salas 7; N Maronde 2; K Jepsen 3; J Paxton 19; Y Medina 3; D Farquhar 6; T Wilhelmsen 1; F Rodney 5
Game Time: 2:59.
Umpires: HP–Mike Muchlinski. 1B–Mike Winters. 2B–Andy Fletcher. 3B–Seth Buckminster.
Wind: 0 mph, .