The Seattle Mariners host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in game two of the initial three game series. On Monday, April 6th Felix Hernandez and the M’s topped the Angels 4-1 as the Mariners won their ninth-consecutive Opening Day, setting an American League record in the process. Hernandez struck out 10 batters and pitched seven innings, becoming just the fourth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to strike out ten or more batters for the third time on Opening Day. Dustin Ackley hit a homerun and Seth Smith went 3-3 with two doubles and a triple in his Mariner debut.
Tonight is the real debut of the LED lighting that the M’s installed at Safeco Field for the 2015 season, as yesterday’s opener was an afternoon game so the benefits of the technology were not readily recognizable. It will be interesting to see if the new lighting does indeed make a difference from before.
The Mariners will start left-handed pitcher James Paxton and the Angels counter with left-hander C.J. Wilson.
The Angels’ lineup is as follows:
The Mariners’ lineup is as follows:
Both pitchers cruise 1-2-3 in the first inning.
Paxton with another 1-2-3 inning.
Nelson Cruz with a sharp ground ball single to center, his first hit as a Mariner.
Richie Weeks adds his first hit as a Mariner, a ground ball to left field.
After the first three innings, both pitchers are in control, although neither has shown the dominant stuff they’ve displayed in the past. However, the Angels have managed only one walk off Paxton and the Mariners have mustered only two singles of Wilson. Paxton has thrown 39 pitches, Wilson 40 through three innings. Angels 0, Mariners 0.
Paxton wobbles a bit in the fourth, as Pujols doubles to left field and Freese homers on a fastball right down the middle to right-center. Cron strikes out, but Aybar hits an infield single and advances to second base on a wild pitch before Paxton comes back to strikeout Iannetta to end the inning. Angels 2, Mariners 0.
Paxton strikes out Trout to end the 5th inning. Trout is now 1-7 with four strikeouts and a homerun against M’s pitching this year.
Paxton’s night is over, as manager Lloyd McClendon goes to the bullpen and brings in Tom Wilhelmsen. Paxton pitches 6 innings, gives up four hits, two earned runs, one walk and strikes out five.\
Wilson has retired the last 17 Mariners in a row, as Miller chases a ball in the dirt to end the eighth inning on a strikeout. Wilson has given up two singles and one walk while striking out two over his eight innings of work.
Yoenis Medina strikes out Cron with a wicked curveball. Medina might have a top-5 curveball in the American League. It just froze Cron as it broke over the outside corner of the plate.
Left-hander Tyler Olson is in to make his major league debut, facing Erick Aybar. Olson is from Spokane, Wash. and attended University High School. Olson induces an inning-ending double play on his first pitch and now the M’s are down to their last three outs. The Angels bring in closer Huston Street to try to close out the victory.
Weeks strikes out looking, Jackson strikes out swinging and Canó lines out softly to right to end the game. The Angels even up the series and win game two 2-0 over the Mariners. Wilson earns his first win and Street gets his first save of the season. Angels 2, Mariners 0.
Watching the game unfold it was ghost of seasons past, as the M’s could only manage two hits off Wilson and three base runners total. Wilson didn’t really overpower the Mariners hitters but shut down the last 17 batters he faced. Paxson pitched well, outside of a five pitch sequence in the fourth inning that saw him surrender the double to Pujols and the opposite field blast by Freese which proved to be the difference in the ballgame. The rubber match takes place 7:10 p.m. local time Wednesday, April 7th as the Mariners send Hisashi Iwakuma to the mound and the Angels counter with Matt Shoemaker.