LOS ANGELES (AP) — Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning and six relievers combined to shut down Seattle after starter Matt Shoemaker was hit in the head with a line drive, leading the Los Angeles Angels over the Mariners 4-2 on Sunday.
Shoemaker was hit on the right side of his head with one out in the second inning on a line drive from Kyle Seager. Seager’s liner had an exit velocity of 105 mph, according to MLB Statcast. Shoemaker was able to turn his head slightly to avoid a direct blow to his face but was unable to get his mitt up in time.
The Angels announced Shoemaker suffered a laceration on the right side of his head, but was alert and responsive. He was taken to a local hospital for a CT scan.
Shoemaker was down for several minutes and bleeding from the spot where he was hit. Teammates knelt around the mound and Seager anxiously watched while Shoemaker was tended to. Shoemaker never appeared to lose consciousness.
The Angels took two of three in the series, providing another damaging blow to Seattle’s fleeting postseason hopes. The Mariners have dropped seven of eight with AL West-leading Texas coming in for a four-game series starting Monday, likely Seattle’s last opportunity to get back into the wild-card race.
Pujols hit his 29th homer of the season off Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma (14-11) with two outs in the first and Cron followed with his 15th home run moments later. The Angels hit seven first-inning home runs in the three-game series.
Pujols added an RBI single in the sixth inning off Iwakuma, and Andrelton Simmons had an RBI single in the eighth inning off reliever Dan Altavilla. Iwakuma went seven innings, giving up eight hits and the three runs.
After Shoemaker walked off the field with trainers on both sides, the Angels leaned on their bullpen. Deolis Guerra (3-0) was the first of the relievers to enter, followed by Jose Alvarez, Mike Morin, Cody Ege and JC Ramirez. Robinson Cano hit his 31st homer off Ege in the sixth and Nelson Cruz hit his 35th in the eighth off Ramirez, both solo shots.
But that was all the Angels allowed, and Andrew Bailey pitched the ninth for his first save.
Seattle added depth to its overused bullpen by activating RHP Drew Storen and recalling LHP David Rollins on Sunday. Storen had been sidelined by shoulder inflammation and the pair gives manager Scott Servais a few more options for the later innings with Seattle’s starters struggling to get deep into games of late.
Angels: Jered Weaver (10-11) makes his 27th start as the Angels open a series in Oakland. Weaver got the win in his last start against Cincinnati.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (9-5) looks to rebound from one of his worst outings of the season as Seattle opens a series against Texas. Hernandez allowed six earned runs in four innings in a loss to the Rangers last Wednesday.
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