ANAHEIM -- The storybook beginning to Francisco Arcia's MLB career is now taking on historic proportions.
Arcia, a 28-year-old catcher who spent 12 years grinding through the Minors before finally receiving his first shot in the big leagues with the Angels this week, homered and drove in six runs in an 11-5 thumping of the Mariners on Saturday night at Angel Stadium, becoming the first player in MLB history to collect 10 RBIs in his first two games.
"You couldn't feel happier for someone who's done what Frankie's done," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Just grinding out in the Minor Leagues to get this opportunity and then doing something that he does in the first two days. Ten RBIs, that's incredible. He gave us a big lift, no doubt."
Arcia broke the record previously held by Joe Cunningham, who drove in nine runs over his first two games for the 1954 Cardinals. It was a stunning encore to his MLB debut on Thursday, when he went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs. Arcia is also the first player in Angels history to homer in each of his first two MLB games.
"I feel glad to be part of this team," Arcia said. "They gave me the opportunity. I feel good because I never put my head down. I just go up there and fight. Now I made it."
Arcia, who received his long-awaited call-up on Thursday after Martin Maldonado was traded to the Astros, delivered an RBI double off Felix Hernandez in the second inning and then broke the game open with a three-run shot off Casey Lawrence in the third. He secured his record-breaking night by yanking a two-run double into the right-field corner to extend the Angels' lead to 10-2 in the fifth.
Arcia said it was particularly meaningful to collect a hit off Hernandez, a fellow Venezuelan.
"Today I just talked to my brother, and I said, 'I'm going to face one of the best pitchers from my country,'" Arcia said. "And he goes, 'Don't worry, he's going to throw a ball right over the plate, and you're going to hit it so hard.' That happened in the first at-bat."
A career .244 hitter in the Minors, the left-handed-hitting Arcia is 5-for-8 (.625) with two home runs and two doubles since joining the Angels, who have won four in a row to improve to 54-52.
Michael Trout put the Angels on the board with a first-inning solo home run, while Kole Calhoun and Ian Kinsler chipped in with two RBIs apiece. The Angels have scored 38 runs while batting .347 with 10 home runs during their four-game winning streak.
"We're getting some depth in our lineup and pressuring teams every inning, and that's something that we need to continue doing moving forward," Scioscia said.
Rookie Jaime Barria surrendered only a pair of solo home runs to Nelson Cruz over six strong innings, picking up his first win since June 1 and snapping his streak of six consecutive losing decisions. After issuing 13 walks over his previous six starts, Barria had none on Saturday.
"I think his stuff was crisper," Scioscia said. "He pitched with his fastball. Definitely opened up some good zones. A couple mistakes he made to Cruz, Nelson hit them a long way, but outside of that, he did a great job and pitched a really strong six innings for us."
Facing left-hander Roenis Elias in the eighth inning, Shohei Ohtani smoked a double off the right-field wall in to snap an 0-for-15 skid. It had an exit velocity of 113.2 mph, making it his hardest-hit ball in the Majors, according to Statcast™.
"Tonight he found a hole," Scioscia said. "He almost made a hole in the wall. That was a bullet."
Right-hander Felix Pena (1-1, 3.34 ERA) will take the mound on Sunday as the Angels and Mariners close out their three-game series at 1:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Pena will be opposed by Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales (11-5, 3.38 ERA). Since moving into the Angels' rotation, Pena has logged a 2.73 ERA over 29 2/3 innings. He will make his first career appearance against the Mariners.