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Chavez, Halos handle Seattle in home opener

April 7, 2017

ANAHEIM -- Kole Calhoun and Cameron Maybin's first home runs of the season powered the Angels to a 5-1 win over the Mariners on Friday night in their home opener at Angel Stadium.Maybin launched an opposite-field solo shot off Seattle starter Yovani Gallardo to put the Halos ahead, 3-1, in

ANAHEIM -- Kole Calhoun and Cameron Maybin's first home runs of the season powered the Angels to a 5-1 win over the Mariners on Friday night in their home opener at Angel Stadium.
Maybin launched an opposite-field solo shot off Seattle starter Yovani Gallardo to put the Halos ahead, 3-1, in the sixth, and Calhoun extended the lead to four with a two-run homer in the seventh.
"Anytime you put a good swing on a ball and it goes out the park, it's always fun," said Maybin, who also made a nice sliding catch in left field to rob Kyle Seager of a hit in the second. "Kole did a good job of adding on. That's huge. Big win to open up the home series. Hopefully we keep the momentum going."

The outfielders backed a solid effort from Jesse Chavez, who allowed one run on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings to earn the win in his Angels debut. The 33-year-old veteran, who signed a one-year, $5.75 million deal over the offseason, blanked the Mariners through the first five innings and retired 11 in a row at one point, but he fell into a jam in the sixth and was lifted after surrendering an RBI single to Nelson Cruz that cut the Halos' lead to 2-1.

The Mariners fell to 1-4 as they mustered only five hits and couldn't cash in on multiple scoring opportunities, going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position to put them at 4-for-43 on the season. But Kyle Seager, one of many struggling in the lineup so far, vowed that things would even out in time.
"The track record will play. When we look back at the end of the season, the numbers will be there and everything is going to be there right where it's supposed to be," Seager said. "This is not the stretch we want, but it's five games. Over the course of 162, we'll be where we're supposed to be."
Gallardo yielded three runs on eight hits over five-plus innings, walking two and striking out four. He posted a 1-2-3 second but allowed at least one runner to reach base in every other frame of his outing.

The Angels jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first after Yunel Escobar singled, Calhoun doubled and Michael Trout hit a sacrifice fly to center field. They threatened again in the third after the Mariners intentionally walked Trout to load the bases for Jose Pujols with one out.
Pujols subsequently reached on a fielding error after Seager dropped his grounder while trying to initiate what could have been an inning-ending double play. Seager's miscue allowed Maldonado to score from third, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead, but Gallardo limited the damage by retiring the next two batters.
The Angels' bullpen picked up Chavez after he exited the game, tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings. The club is now 3-2 on the season.
Don't get started: The Mariners have been struggling to get going offensively in the first week, particularly in the heart of their order. They finally got to Chavez in the sixth when Mitch Haniger, Robinson Cano and Cruz strung together two-out singles to drive in a run, with Cruz snapping out of a 1-for-17 skid with his first RBI of the year. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia brought in lefty Jose Alvarez at that point and he struck out Seager on an 0-2 foul tip to preserve a 2-1 lead.

Maybin gives Halos breathing room: After Seattle pulled within one run in the top of the sixth, Maybin restored the Angels' two-run advantage by blasting a 1-0 fastball from Gallardo to right-center field. The ball came off Maybin's bat at 104 mph and traveled a projected 403 feet, according to Statcast™. It's an encouraging sign for Maybin, who hit only four homers in 2016 with the Tigers.

Simmons' shutdown defense: With the Angels ahead, 3-1, in the seventh, the Mariners put a runners on first and second with no outs after Danny Valencia hit a leadoff single and Bud Norris hit Jarrod Dyson. Norris responded by striking out Mike Zunino for the first out of the inning, and shortstop Andrelton Simmons then made two nice defensive plays to extricate the Angels from the jam. Simmons took one ground ball and flipped it to Escobar to get the forceout at third and then ranged far to his left and threw to second for the final out of the inning.
Mariners:Felix Hernandez, pulled after five innings in his Opening Day start with a tight groin muscle, wound up not missing any time and will be on the hill for Saturday's 7:17 p.m. PT start at Angel Stadium. Hernandez will be looking to celebrate his 31st birthday against a team he's gone 16-16 with a 3.34 ERA against in 50 career starts.
Angels:Ricky Nolasco will make his second start of the regular season Saturday when the Angels host the Mariners in the second game of their three-game series at 7:17 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Nolasco started for the Halos on Opening Night but took the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings against the A's. Prior to the game, the Angels will hold a ceremony to recognize Mike Trout for his 2016 American League MVP and Silver Slugger Awards.
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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [

@GregJohnsMLB]() and listen to his podcast.