Mariners 5, Angels 3
KEY MOMENT: Angels left-hander Hector Santiago struck out Brad Miller for what appeared to be the third out of the third inning, but his strike-three wild pitch went to the backstop, allowing Miller to reach base. That sparked a four-run rally, as Robinson Cano walked, Justin Smoak hit a run-scoring single and Corey Hart hit a towering three-run homer to left on an 0-2 fastball for a 4-3 Seattle lead.
AT THE PLATE: Mike Trout singled, Albert Pujols crushed a two-run homer to left, and David Freese followed with a solo shot to center for a 3-0 Angels lead in the first. Seattle left-hander James Paxton then retired the next 14 batters before departing in the sixth because of an upper-back strain. Hart added a solo homer to center in the seventh for his 16th career multi-homer game.
ON THE MOUND: Seattle closer Fernando Rodney walked Pujols and Freese to open the ninth but struck out pinch-hitter Ian Stewart and Howie Kendrick and got Raul Ibanez to fly to left for his second save. Santiago needed 94 pitches to get through 41/3 innings, giving up four runs and five hits, striking out six and walking three. Yoervis Medina, Danny Farquhar and Tom Wilhelmsen pitched three hitless innings of relief for Seattle.
IN THE FIELD: The Angels threatened by putting two on with one out in the sixth, but third baseman Kyle Seager fielded Freese’s grounder and threw to second to start an inning-ending double play. Cano, Seattle’s second baseman, charged Ibanez’s fifth-inning roller and made a nice glove-hand flip to first for the out.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW: The first instant-replay challenge of their season did not go well for the Angels. Left fielder Josh Hamilton appeared to catch Hart’s fifth-inning fly before dropping the ball on the glove-to-hand exchange. Umpires overturned the initial out call after a 2-minute 51-second delay, but Michael Kohn prevented further damage by pitching out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam.
EXTRA BASES: Hamilton, attempting to beat out a seventh-inning grounder, injured his left thumb on a headfirst dive into first base and was removed for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. An X-ray after the game was negative, but Hamilton was to have an MRI exam on Wednesday. … Pujols’ first-inning blast, the 493rd homer of his career, gave him 1,501 career runs batted in. He joins Alex Rodriguez as the only two active players with 1,500 RBIs.
UP NEXT: Right-hander Garrett Richards (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will oppose Seattle left-hander Roenis Elias (0-0, 1.80 ERA) at Safeco Field on Wednesday at 7 p.m. On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830.