Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney had already thrown 104 pitches when Mariners catcher Tom Murphy stepped up to the plate.
Three pitches later, Murphy drilled a three-run home run, giving the Mariners a comfortable lead they would not relinquish. The Angels lost 6-2 Friday in the opener of three-game series.
“It sucks,” Heaney said. “I mean, that’s a ... way to end the game. ... That was the nail in the coffin for me, for the team, for the game.”
Kole Calhoun gave the Angels the lead in the second inning, drilling Marco Gonzales’ curveball over the center-field fence for a solo home run. Calhoun entered the game hitting one for 18 against the Mariners starter.
Heaney started strong, retiring the first eight batters. Through three innings he struck out six. In Heaney’s last start against the Mariners he gave up five hits, three runs and two home runs.
“We feel great about him,” manager Brad Ausmus said of Heaney before Friday’s game. “We feel we have a chance to win a game when he takes the mound.”
The Angels offense stagnated in that span. Calhoun’s home run was the only hit Gonzales allowed. After the play he gave up a walk then retired 11 straight batters. Still, Heaney kept the game within reach — until the sixth inning, after his pitch count surpassed 100.
“We didn’t really do much against (Gonzales),” Ausmus said. “Truthfully they pitched better, and they hit better. They played better.”
Heaney gave up a single to the Mariners’ leadoff batter, hit Tim Beckham with a pitch and retired the next two batters. That is when Murphy’s blast padded Seattle’s lead. It was Heaney’s 107th pitch.
Once the ball landed beyond the left field fence, Ausmus jogged to the mound and ended Heaney’s outing, though he said Heaney’s night would have ended then regardless of the outcome of Murphy’s at-bat. Luis Garcia replaced Heaney, allowed five earned runs, six hits and two walks in 52/3 innings while striking out 10.
He looked really sharp,” Ausmus said of Heaney, “especially early on. ... He was still strong, but they did their job.”
Mike Trout entered the game with a 1.341 OPS against Gonzales but went hitless against him. However, he drew a walk against Gonzales in the sixth inning and advanced to third on a single by Albert Pujols. Trout scored on a single by pinch-hitter Tommy La Stella, but the Mariners still maintained a three-run lead.
Santana hit his second solo home run of the night in the seventh inning — a 416-footer over the right field fence. It was the fifth multi-homer game of Santana’s career. By that point, the run was merely insurance.
After reliever Cody Allen held the Mariners scoreless in the eighth, Trout drilled a double that bounced off the left-field wall, a few feet shy of a home run. He reached third for the second time on a groundout by Shohei Ohtani. But Pujols flied out to end the inning.
Allen held the Mariners scoreless again in the ninth inning but the Angels failed to capitalize on two walks in the bottom of the inning.