ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 592nd career homer and a tying two-run single in the ninth inning before Cliff Pennington’s drive to the wall capped the Los Angeles Angels’ rally from a six-run deficit for a 10-9 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Pennington’s single drove in Mike Trout to end a preposterous comeback by the Angels, who trailed 8-1 in the seventh and 9-3 before Pujols homered to lead off the ninth against Casey Fien.
Yunel Escobar trimmed Seattle’s lead with a two-out, two-run double off closer Edwin Diaz (0-1), who gave up three hits. Diaz also walked Kole Calhoun and Trout before Pujols and Pennington delivered back-to-back singles.
Robinson Cano had a three-run homer and a two-run double for the Mariners, who fell to 1-6 in miserable fashion.
Andrew Bailey (2-0) pitched the ninth in the Angels’ fifth win in six games since opening day.
Pujols was off to a 4-for-27 start to the season before hitting his first homer of the year. He is ninth in baseball history behind Sammy Sosa, who hit 609 homers.
Hisashi Iwakuma pitched six innings of two-hit ball for the Mariners, yielding only Andrelton Simmons’ early homer. Seattle’s bullpen fell apart in spectacular fashion, giving up nine runs and nine hits in three innings.
Before the ninth-inning theatrics, Cano emerged from a quiet start to the season with two big hits and his first five RBIs of the year. He delivered a two-out homer in the third off Matt Shoemaker, who also gave up Cano’s bases-loaded double in the fifth.
Shoemaker yielded five hits and six earned runs while failing to get out of the fifth inning. It was the right-hander’s second start since his season ended early last September due to a line drive to his head off the bat of Seattle’s Kyle Seager.
The Mariners appeared to be cruising when Mitch Haniger knocked a 427-foot drive off Angel Stadium’s ficus trees in the seventh inning to put the Mariners up 8-1.
Angels: Just one Los Angeles starter threw six full innings in the first week of the season, forcing the bullpen to work extensively. The bullpen gets a rest day Monday, but the Angels have 20 games in the ensuing 20 days.
Mariners: James Paxton (0-0, 0.00 ERA) takes the mound for the home opener against Houston. He pitched six strong innings against the Astros last week, allowing only three baserunners.
Angels: Tyler Skaggs (0-1, 8.44 ERA) looks to bounce back from a rocky season-opening start in Oakland when the Angels open a three-game home series against Texas on Tuesday.
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