Erick Aybar hits a three-run homer in Angels’ 7-5 win over Mariners

Erick Aybar
Erick Aybar rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run in the fourth inning at Safeco Field in a 7-5 win over the Mariners in Seattle.
(Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images)

KEY MOMENT: With the Angels leading 6-2, Kevin Jepsen replaced starter Matt Shoemaker with runners on second and third and one out in the sixth. Jepsen got Michael Saunders, who hit a two-run homer in the fourth, to fly to the wall in left, a run scoring, and cleanup batter Justin Smoak to hit a flare toward the left-field line. Grant Green made a running/diving catch to save a run.

AT THE PLATE: Erick Aybar crushed a full-count pitch from Mariners starter Brandon Maurer over the 380-foot sign in right-center for a three-run homer in the fourth, turning a 2-0 lead into a 5-0 cushion. The shortstop has 29 runs batted in. Kole Calhoun, making his first start in the leadoff spot since his return from a right ankle sprain, had two hits, two walks and scored three runs in six plate appearances. Mike Trout had three hits and two RBIs; C.J. Cron had three hits and two runs.

ON THE MOUND: Shoemaker, called up from triple A after reliever Sean Burnett went on the disabled list, retired the first nine batters en route to a solid 51/3-inning, three-run, four-hit, six-strikeout, no-walk effort that pushed his record to 3-1. During the Angels’ current 14-6 run, starters have fashioned a 2.94 earned-run average. Mike Morin and Joe Smith pitched scoreless innings. Fernando Salas gave up a two-run homer to Kyle Seager in the ninth, but Ernesto Frieri retired Stefan Romero and Dustin Ackley for his eighth save.

REHAB REPORT: Reliever Dane De La Rosa (shoulder irritation) pitched in triple-A games Wednesday and Thursday but is not ready to return. “He’s slowly making progress,” Manager Mike Scioscia said, “but to get the confidence to know he’s where he needs to be might take a few more outings.”


RELIEVED: Top relief prospect R.J. Alvarez, who was shut down because of elbow tenderness and returned to Anaheim for tests May 21, “checked out fine,” said General Manager Jerry Dipoto.

UP NEXT: Right-hander Garrett Richards (4-1, 3.00 ERA) will oppose Oakland left-hander Drew Pomeranz (4-2, 1.38) at Oakland Coliseum on Friday at 7 p.m. On the air: FS West. Radio: 830.