SEATTLE -- The night after the Angels lost to the Mariners despite scoring four runs in the first inning, they upped the ante to six in the first and beat the Mariners 10-3 at Safeco Field Saturday.
The Halos, who got two home runs each from Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols, have won eight of their last 10 games, and their win Saturday tied their three-game series with Seattle at a game apiece. They set the Mariners back five games out of the second American League wild card spot.
Angels starter Tyler Skaggs earned the win to improve to 3-3. He logged his third quality start in seven appearances, allowing three runs on eight hits in six innings.
"I think he made some good adjustments," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The changeup definitely became a part of his best stuff tonight. He had good life on his fastball. … When push came to shove, he definitely made a pitch and finished strong."
And he had plenty of run support from his offense. The Angels knocked around Mariners starter Taijuan Walker so severely in the first inning that he only lasted long enough to record two outs. He gave up three consecutive homers, to Calhoun, Mike Trout and Pujols, to put the Mariners down 4-0 with no outs. Walker scattered three more hits after that and allowed two more runs for a total of six runs, five of which were earned, on six hits.
"I felt really good in the bullpen and I guess it just didn't transfer over," Walker said. "I hit the first batter and kind of lost focus, and it just wasn't good."
The Angels tacked on four more insurance runs off switch pitcher Pat Venditte to put the game out of reach.
After the Angels' hot start, the Mariners offense looked feeble in comparison. Franklin Gutierrez and Nelson Cruz both belted homers for a combined 829 feet by Statcast™'s measurements. But those three runs barely put a dent in the Angels' lead. "It was over before it really got started," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Angels go back-to-back-to-back: The Angels got off to a rollicking -- and historic -- start in Saturday's first inning. Leadoff man Yunel Escobar exited the game after being hit by a pitch on the back of the left hand and was replaced by pinch-runner Cliff Pennington. Then the scoring began. Calhoun hit a two-run home run as the culmination of an epic 13-pitch at-bat against Walker, Trout followed him with a solo blast, and Pujols made it three dingers in a row with a solo shot that gave him 587 for his career, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and putting him alone in ninth place in Major League history. More >>
"Just trying to put a ball in play, really," Calhoun said of the masterful at-bat that got things started. " I just kind of got into a battle and fouled off some tough pitches, got some pitches to hit, definitely wasn't trying to hit a home run, just trying to put a ball in play and have a good at-bat, and it just kept going and going and going and going."
Double duty:Robinson Canó recorded his 30th double of the season to join Stan Musial, Tris Speaker and Honus Wagner as the only four players in Major League history to hit 30-plus doubles in 12 or more consecutive seasons. Of the four, Musial was the only one to best 12 seasons, with a streak of 16. Cano hit his 30th double 319 feet, according to Statcast™, in his first at-bat. The long fly ball down the left field line bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double. More >>
Gamel's good in Seattle:In his second game as a Mariner, Ben Gamel proved his defensive prowess in the outfield with two spectacular diving catches. The rookie outfielder, who the Mariners acquired from the Yankees Wednesday, chased down Pennington's line drive in the left-center field gap for the second out of the third inning. His diving play not only robbed Pennington of a hit but also limited Calhoun's home run the next at-bat to just one run. Then in the ninth as the right fielder, Gamel made a diving catch up the line to take a hit from C.J. Cron for the first out of the inning. Gamel went 1-for-3 at the plate with two walks and a run, He recorded his second Major league hit and his first as a Mariner.
"Really excited about what I see out of Ben Gamel," Servais said. "I love the athleticism, obviously, the plays in the outfield, controlled the strike zone. I think he's got plenty of upside. I like the way he plays: very calm, under control. Which is great. That's what you need, especially in the batter's box."
Pujols and Calhoun double up: One home run apiece apparently wasn't enough for Pujols and Calhoun. In the third inning, Pujols hit a Venditte pitch into the Mariners bullpen for his second homer of the game and the 588th of his career, and in the fourth, Calhoun led off with his second long ball of the game, a bolt into the seats in right center that gave the Angels their 10th run of the game.
Angels: Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (9-13, 3.91 ERA) takes the hill in the series finale at Safeco Field on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PT. Shoemaker is 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 11 career starts vs. the Mariners and is 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA against Seattle this year.
Mariners:Hisashi Iwakuma (14-10, 4.01) gets his 28th start of the season for Seattle. He looks to snap a three-game losing streak, his longest of the season. First pitch is scheduled for Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PT.
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