ANAHEIM -- Ricky Nolasco fired the first complete game by an Angels starter this season on Saturday night, quieting the Mariners' bats with a 4-0 shutout at Angel Stadium.Nolasco (4-9, 4.42 ERA) allowed just three hits and permitted no walks, while striking out seven batters to collect his second straight
ANAHEIM -- Ricky Nolasco fired the first complete game by an Angels starter this season on Saturday night, quieting the Mariners' bats with a 4-0 shutout at Angel Stadium.
Nolasco (4-9, 4.42 ERA) allowed just three hits and permitted no walks, while striking out seven batters to collect his second straight winning decision.
"As the game went on, I think he got better. Got more into his game," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "He was making pitches and getting outs, so we were going to go as long as we could with him."
Nolasco credited his defense for making plays behind him to help stymie the Mariners, offensively, which afforded him more comfort on the mound.
"I think with any complete game, you've got to have some luck, and I definitely had some," he said. "They were hitting some balls pretty hard at guys who made some plays early in the game. I just kind of made better pitches from there on out and used their aggressiveness to my advantage."
• Nolasco remains calm and collected
The right-hander's effort was backed early on by Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who teed a solo shot off Mariners starter Sam Gaviglio to give the Halos a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Cameron Maybin added an RBI single in the third inning.
Gaviglio fell to 3-3 with a 3.48 ERA with his second straight loss, as he was charged for three runs on five hits and one walk, to go with three strikeouts. The rookie kept the Mariners in the game, but the offense never got untracked, a night after racking up 17 hits in a 10-0 win.
"It's baseball," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "Ricky Nolasco pitched a really good game. He has been pitching well. We knew that coming in. We couldn't get anything going against him. He controlled the counts. You have to tip your hat to him. As hot as we were and and the way we swung the bat last night, I was expecting a little different ballgame. But he threw the ball well."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Speed kills: After smacking a leadoff single off Gaviglio to open the third, Ben Revere swiped second base -- his sixth stolen base of the season -- before scoring on Maybin's RBI single, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead in the third.
Halos add some cushion: Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski replaced Gaviglio to face Luis Valbuena with a runner on and one out in the seventh. Valbuena launched a double into left field, putting runners on second and third. Rzepczynski intentionally walked Martin Maldonado to load the bases for Revere, but a wild pitch allowed Yunel Escobar to score. Revere grounded out, but the effort was enough to scratch another run in, giving the Angels a 4-0 advantage.
"Sam did a really good job again. That's what he does," Servais said. "He controls the game, manages it very well. I thought he did exactly what we needed him to do to give us a chance. We went to the bullpen tonight and Zep has been very good. He gave up a hit. It happens once in a while."
"It started pretty good, but the finish was not that good." -- Mariners DH Nelson Cruz, on how his 37th birthday went after he hurt his right knee sliding into second trying to stretch a single in the second inning and had to be taken out of the game. He's listed as day-to-day.More >
"It's never fun finishing the game with Robinson Cano." -- Nolasco, on ending his masterpiece with a strikeout of Cano, a seven-time All-Star
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Nolasco has thrown each of the Angels' last two shutouts. He also blanked the Reds on Aug. 31, 2016.
Nick Franklin, who debuted for the Angels on Saturday against his former club, is the fourth player selected in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft currently within the Angels' system, joining infielder Dustin Ackley and catcher Tony Sanchez -- who are both playing with Triple A Salt Lake -- and center fielder Michael Trout. Franklin, the 27th overall selection of the 2009 Draft, was chosen by the Mariners two picks after Trout.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mariners successfully challenged a safe call on a stolen base by Maybin for their first out of the game. After a leadoff single, Maybin tried to catch Gaviglio unaware when he broke for second while the rookie was still in the set position in his windup. Gaviglio wheeled and fired to shortstop Jean Segura and after a review it was determined Segura made the tag before Maybin's hand reached the base.
Mariners:James Paxton (5-3, 3.34 ERA) makes his seventh start since coming off the disabled list with a strained forearm in Sunday's 12:37 p.m. PT series wrap-up. The big lefty is 2-3 with a 5.93 ERA since his return and has lost his past three decisions, though he struck out a season high-tying nine while allowing three runs over seven innings in his last outing vs. the Phillies.
Angels: The Halos will send right-hander Jesse Chavez (5-8, 5.04 ERA) to the hill for Sunday's series finale. The start marks Chavez's second of the season against Seattle. He emerged victorious after tossing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in their previous meeting April 7. First pitch is scheduled for 12:37 p.m. PT
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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [
Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.