ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and Andrelton Simmons made a spectacular tag at third base to complete a double play during the Los Angeles Angels’ fourth victory in five games, 5-4 over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.
Simmons made the latest jaw-dropping defensive play in a week full of gems by the Angels, who have standout fielders at most positions this season.
When Jean Segura tried to advance from first to third on Mitch Haniger’s grounder in the third inning, Simmons covered third base. The shortstop snagged Jefry Marte’s off-target throw and twisted in midair to apply a behind-the-back tag to the sliding Segura, who was initially called safe before video replay revealed what the naked eye couldn’t process.
Trout connected for a two-run shot off Evan Scribner (0-1), delivering yet another big hit for the Angels after a pregame ceremony recognizing his second AL MVP award in three years. Owner Arte Moreno presented Trout with a large commemorative ring.
Mike Zunino drove in the tying run earlier in the seventh for the Mariners, who are off to a 1-5 start.
Felix Hernandez yielded 10 hits over six innings on his 31st birthday, but the veteran ace struck out Trout looking after an outstanding 14-pitch at-bat in the first inning. It was the longest at-bat in either player’s career.
Yunel Escobar homered and doubled for the Angels. Danny Espinosa and Kole Calhoun had run-scoring singles.
Ricky Nolasco became the first Angels starter to complete six innings this season, recovering from Haniger’s first-inning homer to pitch six innings of four-hit ball.
Albert Pujols went 3 for 4 after a 1-for-20 start to his season. With a second-inning double, he tied Cal Ripken Jr. for 14th place in baseball history with his 603 career doubles.
Pujols then scored on a single by Espinosa, who has six RBIs in six games since joining his hometown team. Escobar’s first homer of the season put the Angels ahead in the fifth.
Zunino evened it with an RBI single on a 98-mph fastball at the knees from J.C. Ramirez (2-0).
Segura scored on Nelson Cruz’s sacrifice fly in the eighth, but Cam Bedrosian got two outs to escape the jam and then pitched the ninth for his second save.
Mariners: Reliever Tony Zych is almost ready to rejoin the bullpen after pitching briefly for Triple-A Tacoma on Friday. He had arm surgery last October.
Angels: Tyler Skaggs will start on normal rest Tuesday against Texas while Garrett Richards is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained biceps.
Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 3.00 ERA) has a 2.83 career ERA against the Angels, but is 1-3 in his last six starts against Los Angeles.
Angels: Matt Shoemaker (0-0, 3.60 ERA) faces the Mariners for the first time since getting hit in the head with a line drive by Seattle’s Kyle Seager last September, ending his season.