Los Angeles superstar Mike Trout reached a milestone and Seattle slugger Nelson Cruz is chasing one as the Angels host the Mariners on Saturday for the middle contest of their three-game series. Trout belted his 200th career homer - and No. 201 - in Friday’s 6-5 victory, while Cruz moved within one of his fourth straight 40-homer campaign.
Another blast by Cruz would make him the 14th player in major-league history to reach 40 in four consecutive seasons. He has launched six shots over his last nine games and is 12-for-26 with four homers against scheduled Saturday starter Ricky Nolasco. Trout’s second blast on Friday ignited a four-run, eighth-inning rally as Los Angeles won for just the third time in 12 games. Trout joins Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to reach 200 homers prior to their age-26 season.
TV: 9:07 p.m. ET, ROOT Northwest (Seattle), FSN West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Andrew Moore (1-5, 5.34 ERA) vs. Angels RH Ricky Nolasco (6-15, 5.02)
Moore is making his 10th start of the season and seeking his first win since his major-league debut against Detroit on June 22. The 23-year-old lasted just four innings against Cleveland in his last turn, giving up three runs - two earned - and five hits while taking the loss. Moore blew a four-run lead in a relief appearance against the Angels on Aug. 11, when he gave up four runs and six hits in 1 2/3 frames.
Nolasco has lost his last three decisions in a season in which he will match his career high for most starts (33) and already has suffered his most defeats. The 34-year-old has served up a career-worst 34 homers, which ties for sixth-most in the majors. Nolasco is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in five starts against Seattle this year and 2-5 with a 4.71 ERA in 10 career outings.
1. The Angels are 11-6 against the Mariners this season after Friday’s victory.
2. Los Angeles has committed just 79 errors and is on pace to set the franchise mark for fewest in a full season (83 in 2014).
3. Seattle RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder) will be able to resume throwing in five months after undergoing surgery earlier this week.
PREDICTION: Angels 7, Mariners 5