Mariners pounce on Angels with 7-run 1st inning
Seattle's prior season-high for runs scored in one frame was five
ANAHEIM -- A Mariners offense that has been on ice much of July came out scorching in the 92-degree heat on Sunday afternoon as Seattle scored seven runs off Angels starter Felix Pena in the top of the first inning and held on for an 8-5 victory.
The Mariners averaged just 3.2 runs a game during a 5-11 skid, but put together six hits and two walks while recording just one out before the Angels summoned reliever Jim Johnson to shut down the uprising.
The seven runs were the most Seattle has scored in a first inning since June 12, 2015, when they put up eight on the Astros. The most they'd scored in any inning this season was five, which had been achieved seven times.
"Our guys came out fired up today," said manager Scott Servais. "Really, when we got in the clubhouse today, we just said, 'Let's relax, go out and have fun and put a smile on our face and go play.' We're really good when we do that. We got the ball rolling there in the first inning. Their pitcher did not settle in at all and we took advantage of it."
Dee Gordon set the immediate tone with a first-pitch single, then stole second and scored on Jean Segura's RBI base hit. Denard Span followed with an RBI double, Nelson Cruz laced a run-scoring single and Mitch Haniger walked before Pena got his lone out on a Kyle Seager strikeout.
A Ryon Healy walk and an RBI single by Ben Gamel made it 4-0 before Pena uncorked a bases-loaded wild pitch to score Haniger from third. Mike Zunino's two-run double to left ended the day for Pena, whose ERA jumped from 3.34 to 5.23. He'd posted a 2.73 ERA in six previous starts since moving into the Angels rotation.
"We've had some good at-bats and once you start piecing them together and they start to fall, we can do stuff like that," said Zunino. "It's been awhile since we have. Sometimes, you have to weather the storm and continue to have good at-bats. I feel like we've done that and hopefully, this opens up the door for us going forward."
Servais flipped the lineup around some, moving Span into the third spot and dropping a struggling Haniger to fifth. Span wound up going 3-for-5 and Gamel and Gordon had three hits as well, while Zunino equaled his season-high with three RBIs as the Mariners racked up 14 hits.
"Our offense has seemed stagnant of late," said Span. "The last two days were very frustrating because guys were having good at-bats and putting good swings on balls with nothing to show for it. Today, it felt good to finally see some balls go through and the line kept moving and we were able to put up a big number in that first inning and set the tone for the day."