Wednesday, June 6, 2012
3 Up, 3 Down: Mariners 8, Angels 6
By Mark Saxon
ANAHEIM -- The Angels ended a promising homestand with a bit of a thud, losing 8-6 to the Seattle Mariners Wednesday night.
The Mariners scored all their runs with two outs, snapping a four-series winning streak for the Angels.
Starting up. The power was the last thing to show up for Kendrys Morales, but it's coming. Fast. Morales has hit four of his seven home runs and two of his six doubles in the last 13 games. He hit an arcing two-run shot roughly 15 rows into the stands in right field in the third inning and added an RBI single to left in the fifth. Remember when people wondered if Albert Pujols would have enough protection? Now, it's whether he can get on base for Morales and Mark Trumbo.
Still going. You keep wondering when Mike Trout is going to cool off ... and then you spend the next night wondering the same thing. Wednesday wasn't the most impactful night for the rookie, but he still managed to get on base twice, force a defensive miscue and score a run. Trout leads AL rookies (minimum 100 at-bats) in four major offensive categories, including batting average and on-base percentage.
Respect. The league is starting to get hip to how dangerous Trumbo is. They're starting to treat him like ... well, like they used to treat Pujols. In the seventh inning, with Pujols at third and one out, Eric Wedge decided to intentionally walk Trumbo even though he represented the go-ahead run. Trumbo shot a first-inning single through the right side in the second inning as part of a two-run rally.
Unlucky seven. Jerome Williams was trying to become the first Angels pitcher to reach seven wins, but he didn't have much going for him. The Mariners, who have been about as hot as they get coming into this series, pounded nine hits off him and scored all seven runs with two outs. The big blows were a couple of two-run doubles, one by Mike Carp and the other by Kyle Seager. Wednesday snapped a streak of four straight quality starts for Williams, the team's fifth starter.
Many mishaps. Eric Aybar isn't putting up much of a defense of his Gold Glove. He made his eighth error misplaying an Ichiro Suzuki grounder in the fifth inning, which led to two unearned runs. Aybar had 13 errors all last season. On the other hand, he is batting .219. Uh, yeah, rough first third of the season for the Angels shortstop.
Slow starter. Pujols spent an extra second or two near home plate admiring his seventh-inning home run. That's great, except it wasn't a home run. The ball thwacked off the top of the wall and Pujols barely made it to second base in time. He wasn't going to get a triple on that ball, but it illustrated a couple of things. One, it's hard to hit home runs here at night and, two, Pujols probably should just start running hard out of the box on everything in the air.