SEATTLE (AP) — Chris Young pitched shutout ball until Albert Pujols homered in the seventh inning, Robinson Cano had three hits and two RBIs to raise his average to .332, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Angels 5-1 on Monday.
After manager Lloyd McClendon lamented Seattle’s production following losses over the weekend to Houston, the Mariners responded with five runs in the first two innings off Tyler Skaggs (4-2). Seattle scored three unearned runs with two outs in the second.
Young (4-2) kept the Angels without a hit until Kole Calhoun’s single with one out in the sixth inning. An inning later, Pujols hit his 506th career home run, pulling within three of Gary Sheffield for 24th on baseball’s all-time homer list.
Young lasted only two more batters after Pujols’ homer, getting pulled after issuing a walk to Raul Ibanez. He struck out five and walked three.
But Young’s strong pitching at Safeco Field continued. In four starts at home this season, Young is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA.
It was a solid rebound for Young, who got knocked around in losing his previous two starts. He gave up 10 hits and five runs in losing to Minnesota and allowed four runs and seven hits in a loss to Texas last week.
The top three hitters in Seattle’s order did the damage against Skaggs. James Jones scored twice, and Michael Saunders tripled, singled and scored two runs.
Cano singled in each of his first three at-bats a day after his streak of reaching base ended at 31 games.
Skaggs wasn’t helped by his defense in the second inning when shortstop Erick Aybar couldn’t handle Jones’ one-hopper with two outs. The miscue allowed Dustin Ackley to score and opened the door for two more runs on Saunders’ triple and Cano’s infield single.
Despite the early trouble, Skaggs threw seven innings and struck out eight.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)