Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) – Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the
first inning off Hisashi Iwakuma and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle
Mariners 5-3 on Wednesday.
The Angels won the last two games of the series after falling 4-1 on opening
They scored four runs in the first inning off Iwakuma (0-1), who entered the
game 6-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 10 previous outings against them.
“We were able to get to (Iwakuma) early,” Pujols said. “Honestly, every time
you can get to a tough guy like that, it’s always a plus.”
The Mariners right-hander gave up five runs — four earned — on nine hits and
no walks in six innings, striking out three.
“He was up in the zone a lot over the first couple of innings,” said Seattle
manager Lloyd McClendon. “He just couldn’t seem to get it down.”
Angels righty Matt Shoemaker (1-0) earned the win despite giving up homers to
Brad Miller and Kyle Seager. Last year’s Rookie of the Year runner-up allowed
three runs on six hits and no walks in six innings while striking out five.
Pujols homered into the upper deck inside the left-field pole and the Angels
scored their other two runs in the first inning after second baseman Robinson
Cano let Erick Aybar’s sharp grounder get past him for an error.
They took a 5-0 lead in the second inning after Efren Navarro led off with a
double, went to third on Johnny Giavotella’s single and scored on Mike Trout’s
Miller pulled a 1-2 pitch into the right field seats leading off the third
inning to get Seattle on the board and Seager’s two-out blast to right-center
in the sixth scored Cano, who doubled.
Jose Alvarez and Mike Morin pitched the seventh inning for the Angels, Joe
Smith escaped a jam in the eighth and Huston Street threw a 1-2-3 ninth for
his second save.
Giavotella had three hits … The Angels host reigning AL champion Kansas City
in a three-game series starting with their home opener on Friday … The
Mariners visit Oakland for a three-game series starting Friday.