ANAHEIM -- Saturday began as a tribute to Michael Trout, as the Angels honored their 25-year-old center fielder by presenting him with his 2016 American League MVP and Silver Slugger Awards during a special pregame ceremony at Angel Stadium. Fittingly, the night ended with Trout once again as the star of the show.
Trout crushed a go-ahead, two-run home run off Evan Scribner in the seventh inning to lift the Halos to a 5-4 win over the Mariners, handing their division rivals a second straight loss in Anaheim.
After Seattle had rallied to tie the game, 3-3, in the top of the seventh, Trout put the Angels back in front in the bottom half of the inning by launching an 89 mph fastball from Scribner to center field for his second home run of the season.
"I just got a good pitch to hit and I didn't miss it," Trout said. "Accepting the awards, it means a lot. It was a special night for me, and obviously with the 'W,' it's even bigger."
Trout's impressive weekend will continue on Sunday night when an MLB Network special "Trout: Millville to MVP" airs at 8:00 p.m. ET.
"I was trying to get in on his hands and just missed by a little bit and he got to it and muscled it out," said Scribner. "He's the one guy we don't want to let beat us and I gave him a pitch to hit that wasn't in a good spot there."
Nelson Cruz's sacrifice fly in the eighth brought the Mariners within one, but Cam Bedrosian converted a five-out save to seal the win for the Angels.
"I think what Cam Bedrosian did is probably the highlight tonight," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "Coming in there in the middle of the order, minimizing damage and holding the lead in the eighth and getting obviously the clean ninth for the save, that was important."
The Mariners took a 2-0 lead just two batters into the game after Jean Segura hit a leadoff single and Mitch Haniger followed with a two-run homer off Ricky Nolasco, but the Angels scored in the second and third innings on RBI singles by Danny Espinosa and Kole Calhoun to tie the game at 2.
Yunel Escobar, who finished 3-for-4, briefly put the Angels ahead, 3-2, with a solo shot off Seattle starter Felix Hernandez in the fifth, though Mike Zunino restored the deadlock with an RBI single off JC Ramirez in the seventh.
Nolasco surrendered the two-run shot to Haniger in the first but then settled in and blanked the Mariners through the next five innings of his outing. He departed after allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts over six innings in his second start.
Hernandez, pitching on his 31st birthday, yielded three runs on 10 hits while striking out six over six innings for the Mariners as he fell to 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA. But he had no issues with the tight hamstring that forced him out of his Opening Day start after five frames.
"I felt fine," Hernandez said. "I felt it a little on the bunt, but it wasn't that bad. I think I had good stuff today. They just fouled off a lot of good pitches, I made a few mistakes on the leadoff double that hurt me and a two-seamer came back to the middle of the plate against Escobar. But I think I threw the ball pretty good."
Angels designated hitter Jose Pujols, who entered the game with just one hit in his first 20 at-bats of the regular season, broke out of his slow start with three hits, including a leadoff double in the second.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Battle of the stars: When Hernandez and Trout hook up, drama often follows. Trout has homered off the Mariners' ace seven times -- the most he's hit off any pitcher and the most King Felix has allowed to any one batter. But this time, the fireworks revolved around a strikeout -- a very long strikeout -- as Trout fouled off nine pitches in a 14-pitch duel in the first before taking a called third strike on a 92 mph fastball. Hernandez won that battle and later got the two-time MVP on a four-pitch strikeout and a grounder to second, but he needed 20 of his 100 pitches in his six-inning start to record the Trout outs. And that set up Trout to face Scribner in the seventh for his go-ahead blast. More >
Hang on time: The Mariners threatened in the eighth with Segura's third single of the day followed by a one-out base hit by Robinson Cano. Cruz then ended a nine-pitch battle with Bedrosian with a sacrifice fly to right that cut the margin to 5-4, but Bedrosian struck out Kyle Seager to preserve the lead and then retired the Mariners in order in the ninth for his second save of the season.
"We believe in ourselves. We know we have a pretty good team. We just have to stay together, keep doing what we're doing and enjoy the games. That's all we have to do." -- Hernandez after the Mariners fell to 1-5
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Last season Hernandez had the highest walk ratio of his career with 65 free passes in 153 1/3 innings, but he's struck out 12 and not issued a walk this season in his first 11 innings, including six K's in six frames Saturday..
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the third inning, Segura tried to aggressively advance from first to third on a groundout by Haniger and was initially ruled safe by third base umpire Greg Gibson. But the Angels challenged the play after shortstop Andrelton Simmons lept to receive a high throw from first baseman Jefry Marte and slapped an acrobatic tag on Segura. The replay review showed that Simmons applied the tag on Segura's hip before he touched third, resulting in an overturned call and an inning-ending double play for the Angels. More >
The Mariners won a challenge in the seventh when Simmons initially was ruled safe at first on what turned instead into a double-play, 6-4-3 groundout to end that inning following a quick overturn upon review.
Mariners:Hisashi Iwakuma makes his second start of the season in Sunday's 12:37 p.m. PT series finale at Angel Stadium. The 35-year-old right-hander took a tough loss in his debut, allowing four hits and two runs on two solo homers over six innings in a 2-1 loss at Houston.
Angels:Matthew Shoemaker will take the mound against the Mariners on Sunday afternoon when the Angels close out their three-game series with their division rivals at Angel Stadium. It will mark Shoemaker's first time facing Seattle since being hit on the head by a 105 mph line drive off the bat of Kyle Seager in September. First pitch is slated for 12:37 p.m. PT.
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