Mariners and Felix Hernandez shackle Angels, 4-1 in season opener

Mike Trout

Mike Trout hits a home run in the first inning off of Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez to give the Angels a 1-0 lead in their opening day game Monday against the Mariners.

(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Seattle Mariners 4, Angels 1

KEY MOMENT: The Angels threatened in the eighth inning when Chris Iannetta and Johnny Giavotella singled off reliever Danny Farquhar with one out. But Mariners left-hander Charlie Furbush replaced Farquhar and struck out Kole Calhoun looking at a full-count fastball. Right-hander Carson Smith then replaced Furbush and struck out Mike Trout swinging at a 93-mph fastball to protect a 4-1 lead. It was the third strikeout of the game for Trout, who led the American League with 184 strikeouts last season.

AT THE PLATE: Trout’s first-inning homer was the only damage the Angels could inflict on Seattle starter Felix Hernandez. Erick Aybar singled to open the fifth, and C.J. Cron was hit by a pitch, but Hernandez struck out Iannetta and got Giavotella to ground into a double play to preserve a 2-1 lead. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said he considered having Iannetta bunt, but the catcher has only seven sacrifice bunts in his nine-year career. “The guy at the plate has to have that tool in his game, to get that bunt down,” Scioscia said. “It’s not going to be an easy bunt to get down.”

ON THE MOUND: The Angels have two left-handers in their bullpen, Cesar Ramos and Jose Alvarez. Neither is considered a left-handed specialist, but Ramos showed that he might be capable of filling such a role when he struck out Robinson Cano with two on to end the seventh. Right-hander Fernando Salas retired the side in order in the eighth. Seattle closer Fernando Rodney threw a scoreless ninth for the save.


IN THE FIELD: It wasn’t a spectacular catch by his standards, but Trout leaped at the wall in the eighth inning to rob Logan Morrison of a home run. “I actually lost it, but when I got to the warning track, it came out of the sun,” Trout said. “I had time to time my jump.” Calhoun made a strong throw from right field to gun down Brad Miller, who was trying to advance from first to third on Austin Jackson’s single

UP NEXT: Left-hander C.J Wilson (13-10, 4.51 ERA in 2014) will oppose Mariners left-hander James Paxton (6-4, 3.04) at Safeco Field on Tuesday at 7 p.m. On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830.

—Mike DiGiovanna