The Seattle Mariners erupted for seven runs in the first inning and held on for an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif., avoiding a three-game sweep.
Angels starter Felix Pena got only one out in the game and was charged with all seven runs in the opening frame. The Mariners finished with 14 hits in all, including three each from Dee Gordon, Ben Gamel and Denard Span. Mike Zunino chipped in with two hits and three RBIs.
Seattle starter Marco Gonzales gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings, striking out seven and earning his 12th victory, tied for third-best in the American League. The only runs he gave up came on a two-run homer by Justin Upton in the fifth inning.
The Angels made things interesting in the seventh inning after Gonzales was finished. Upton and Albert Pujols delivered RBI singles against Seattle reliever Nick Vincent, cutting the Mariners’ lead to 8-4.
Then with two on and one out, Andrelton Simmons drove a ball deep to left field, but Span robbed Simmons of what would have been a three-run homer. Instead, it was a sacrifice fly for Simmons, the Angels narrowing their deficit to 8-5.
The Mariners made quick work of Pena (1-2), as the first five batters of the game reached base. Before the Angels even had a chance to bat, the Mariners had RBI singles by Jean Segura, Nelson Cruz and Gamel, and RBI double by Span, a two-run double by Zunino, and one run that scored on a wild pitch.
Edwin Diaz, the last of four Seattle relievers, pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 39th save.
Upton led the Angels offense with three hits and three RBIs, while David Fletcher had two hits and Mike Trout reached base three times on a single and two walks.
The victory allowed the Mariners to move two games ahead of the Oakland A’s for the second AL wild-card spot, while the Angels saw the end of their four-game winning streak.
—Field Level Media