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Valencia, Miranda lead way as Mariners roll

May 4, 2017

SEATTLE -- Ariel Miranda delivered a strong seven-inning start and Danny Valencia and his teammates provided plenty of support as the Mariners rolled to an 11-3 win over the Angels on Thursday to capture their third straight series at Safeco Field.Home cooking has been good for the Mariners, who are

SEATTLE -- Ariel Miranda delivered a strong seven-inning start and Danny Valencia and his teammates provided plenty of support as the Mariners rolled to an 11-3 win over the Angels on Thursday to capture their third straight series at Safeco Field.
Home cooking has been good for the Mariners, who are 8-4 at Safeco, but just 5-12 on the road this year. After a rocky second inning, Miranda shut out the Halos for his final five frames as he allowed two runs on seven hits.

Valencia homered in the seventh to cap a 4-for-5 day with three RBIs. Ben Gamel reached base five times with three hits and two walks, along with three runs and two RBIs. Guillermo Heredia also had three hits and drove in two runs and Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a pair of RBIs as the the Mariners equaled their season high for runs and hits (16). More >>

"It always feels nice when you contribute to the team winning games," said Valencia, who hiked his average 36 points to .221 as he tied his career-high for hits. "I guess today was my turn to contribute and it felt really nice."
With Michael Trout sitting out to rest a sore hamstring and Alex Meyer called up from Triple-A to start in place of the injured Tyler Skaggs, the Angels dropped their second straight to even their record at 15-15. The 6-foot-9 Meyer gave up eight hits and six runs in four innings in his second spot start of the season.
Yunel Escobar went 4-for-5 from his leadoff spot, but the Angels couldn't capitalize as they closed out their road trip at 3-3.
They all count: Hit 'em hard, hit 'em soft, doesn't matter as long as they find grass. And the Mariners cashed in on both kinds in a three-run third against Meyer. After the lanky righty struck out Robinson Cano and Cruz with a runner on first, Kyle Seager slow-rolled a 68-mph single to left past the shifted infield (a hit probability of just 13 percent, per Baseball Savant). Valencia then blistered a 105-mph base hit to left to drive in a run and tie the game at 2. And Heredia capped it all off with a lazy bloop double (63 mph exit velo) down the right-field line to make it 4-2. That one had a hit probability of 32 percent. But hey, as they say, it looked like a ringing two-run double in the box score.
"I think we saw the flashes of the stuff," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Meyer. "After he walked Gamel, the sequence to Cano and Cruz was incredible. Then Seager queues one off the end and they got a couple hits to fall in. He showed flashes of why we're excited about him, and unfortunately he just couldn't command counts enough and put some guys away to be a little more effective." More >>

'That was a big hit," Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Heredia's double. "G has been really good. He has good at-bats and even when he's down in the count, he finds a way to compete and sometimes get back in the count or just make contact. That's the biggest thing. The strikeout kills you. We know that. We've got some younger guys that will compete and hang in there and good things happen when you put the bat on the ball."
Miranda warning: The Mariners lefty had just given up a two-run single to Juan Graterol and seemed to be wobbling in the top of the second when Escobar lined a single sharply off Miranda's left calf. Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma struggled after a similar blow the previous night, but Escobar's smash merely seemed to awaken Miranda, who proceeded to retire the next six batters he faced and gave up only three singles -- one on a bunt -- over the rest of his seven-inning outing.
"It hurts a little bit," Miranda said through interpreter Fernando Alcala. "But it just worked me up a litlte more. At the start of that inning, I wasn't very aggressive. After that I was able to make some adjustments."

"It was great to see Danny Valencia have one of those nights. We were waiting for that. He had a little smile on his face and felt good. He's made some nice adjustments. You've seen the progression with his at-bats and hitting the ball hard." -- Servais
"No." -- Miranda when asked if he missed facing Trout
Cruz has hit .458 (22-for-48) with 10 runs, five doubles, five homers and 19 RBIs during his 13-game hitting streak to raise his average from .218 on April 18 to 330 in a two-week span despite playing on a sore left hamstring.

Mariners speedster Jean Segura attempted to steal second in the bottom of the first and was originally ruled safe by second base umpire Gabe Morales. But Scioscia challenged the call after replay appeared to show that Andrelton Simmons had received Graterol's throw and applied a tag before Segura's hand touched the bag. The umpires ultimately overturned the call, erasing Segura from the base paths.
In the fourth, Angels left fielder Ben Revere was initially called out at first after trying to reach on a bunt single, but Scioscia also successfully challenged that call, correctly believing that Revere had beaten Miranda to the bag.

Angels: The Angels will head back to Anaheim to open a three-game series against the Astros on Friday at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Right-hander Jesse Chavez (2-4, 4.50 ERA), who took the loss after allowing two runs over seven innings in his start against Houston on April 17, will pitch the opener for the Halos.
Mariners: Veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 5.08 ERA) gets the start in Friday's 7:10 p.m. PT series opener against his former Texas club. Gallardo, who won 13 games for the Rangers in 2015, took a no-decision in his only meeting with them last year with the Orioles.
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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.