SEATTLE (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 521st home run to move into 18th place on baseball’s career list and the Los Angeles Angels held on for a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners Wednesday.
Pujols’ home run, a two-run shot off Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1) in the first inning, tied him with Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas.
Matt Shoemaker (1-0), who led the Angels with 16 wins a year ago, gave up a solo home run to Brad Miller in the third and two-run shot by Kyle Seager in the sixth. Shoemaker struck out three and walked none in his six innings.
Iwakuma (0-1), a 15-game winner last season, worked six innings, allowing nine hits, five runs, striking out three and walking none.
The Mariners threatened against Joe Smith in the eighth, putting runners on second and third with no outs. But Nelson Cruz struck out. Seager was intentionally walked to load the bases after two outs.
Johnny Giavotella had three hits for the Angels.
Huston Street worked the ninth for his second save.
Mariners: OF Seth Smith missed his second straight game with a tight groin. It’s not serious enough for extended time off. He could have pinch hit Wednesday, if needed.
Angels: Two players are eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday but will not. RHP Garrett Richards (left knee) missed one start but could be ready next week. He will pitch in an extended spring outing Thursday. Also, OF Josh Hamilton (shoulder) is not in baseball shape.
Mariners: Seattle has Thursday off, traveling to Oakland. Young RHP Taijuan Walker will open the series Friday against the A’s. He allowed just two runs in 27 spring innings. He’ll be opposed by A’s LHP Drew Pomeranz.
Angels: An off day Thursday will be followed by three straight at home against defending AL Champions Kansas City Royals. LHP Hector Santiago gets his first start and will be opposed by Royals LHP Jason Vargas (0-1, 6.00 ERA).
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