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Pujols, Cron go deep as Angels top Mariners

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron homered in the first inning to give the Angels an early lead in their 4-2 win over the Mariners Sunday at Safeco Field, but Angels starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker's well-being was the main thing on everyone's minds after a line drive to the head took him out of the game.

Shoemaker suffered small skull fracture and small hematoma and was set to see a neurologist after the game and spend the night in a Seattle hospital for further observation. According to the Angels, Shoemaker was "speaking, interacting and doing well considering the trauma."

Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron homered in the first inning to give the Angels an early lead in their 4-2 win over the Mariners Sunday at Safeco Field, but Angels starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker's well-being was the main thing on everyone's minds after a line drive to the head took him out of the game.

Shoemaker suffered small skull fracture and small hematoma and was set to see a neurologist after the game and spend the night in a Seattle hospital for further observation. According to the Angels, Shoemaker was "speaking, interacting and doing well considering the trauma."

Full Game Coverage

Shoemaker sustained the injury with one out in the second inning. Kyle Seager's line drive up the middle didn't give Shoemaker enough time to protect himself. Shoemaker fell to the ground, and trainers rushed to the mound. He was eventually able to walk off the field, with trainers on either side. More >>

"It's awful, and you kind of, you've got to catch your breath for a second," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And obviously we're relieved to hear that it looks like everything's under control with Matty as far as what's happening, and obviously he'll be observed tonight, but … it just gives you that feeling of a pit in your stomach. It's tough." More >>

Video: LAA@SEA: Shoemaker hit on head with liner, exits game

"That was terrifying," Seager added. "That was probably the scariest thing I've ever seen on a baseball field. And our thoughts and prayer go out to him. That's well bigger than baseball. That was real."

Shoemaker retired the first four batters he faced, only allowing Seager to get on base. Deolis Guerra took over for Shoemaker and threw 1 2/3 scoreless inning to earn the win. Angels Relievers Cody Ege and JC Ramirez each gave up solo homers, to Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz respectively, for the Mariners' only two runs of the game.

After Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma gave up two home runs in the first inning, he settled in to allow just one more run through the next six innings. More >>

Video: LAA@SEA: Cano flips to second with glove to start DP

"The first inning home run has certainly bitten us against the Angels this year, no doubt," Servais said. "Made a couple mistakes, but he recovered nicely. I thought he threw the ball well. I thought his stuff was good for the most part and kept us there in the game."

While the Angels didn't seem to feel very victorious even though the result said otherwise, they did express gratitude that Shoemaker's situation didn't end up worse.

"The fact that Matty was conscious and all his reactions were what they were supposed to be in the assessment, I think we could exhale a little bit," Scioscia said. "Just to get him up and walking off the field let you feel a little bit better about what could have happened. And it's tough. It's tough."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Back-to-back part deux: For the second day in a row, the Angels hit consecutive home runs in the first inning. On Sunday, it was Pujols connecting for a two-out solo shot off Iwakuma followed by Cron hitting another solo blast. On Saturday, the Angels hit three in a row in the opening frame off Taijuan Walker, with Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Pujols doing the damage. The Angels hit seven home runs in the first inning in the series.

Cano's defense: Cano demonstrated his range and backed Iwakuma with two highlight-reel-worthy plays at second base. In the top of the second, Cano fielded Rafael Ortega's groundball up the middle and started the inning-ending double play with a backhanded glove flip to shortstop Ketel Marte. The next inning, Cano made a leaping grab to rob Kaleb Cowart of a line drive base hit.

Pujols keeps rocking: Pujols came through again in the top of the sixth inning, singling through the left side on an elevated split-fingered fastball and hitting it just well enough to get Kaleb Cowart home all the way from second despite a good throw from left fielder Seth Smith. It was Pujols' 108th RBI of the season, which has him tied for the American League lead in that category with Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion. He later added an RBI single.

Video: LAA@SEA: Pujols adds insurance run with RBI single

Solo shots: Cano and Nelson Cruz scored the Mariners' only runs of the game on solo homers. Cano's 31st dinger of the season cleared the fence in right center field to put the Mariners on the board in the sixth inning. It traveled 391 feet with an exit velocity of 100 mph, according to Statcast™. Cruz's 8th inning homer was his third in as many days. It flew 383 feet to left field, according to Statcast™.

Video: LAA@SEA: Cruz slugs a solo homer to left in the 8th

QUOTABLE
"Baseball's a strong fraternity. We've had guys get hit on both sides, and it's not a good feeling." -- Scioscia

WHAT'S NEXT
Angels: Veteran right-hander Jered Weaver (10-11, 5.21 ERA) takes the hill against the A's as the Angels begin a three-game series on Monday at 1:05 p.m. PT in Oakland. Weaver will be making his 37th career start against the A's and is 14-11 with a 2.77 ERA vs. Oakland overall.

Mariners:The Rangers come to Seattle Monday for a four-game series. Right-hander Felix Hernandez (9-4, 3.14) will take the mound for the Mariners in the series opener, scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT. Rangers southpaw Cole Hamels (14-4, 2.91) will start opposite Hernandez.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.