SEATTLE (AP) — David Murphy hit a three-run homer and Mike Trout added a solo shot to power the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-3 victory over Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Murphy, hitting leadoff for the first time this season, hit his ninth home run off the top of the wall in right field in the third inning. Hernandez (17-9) had hit David Freese to open the inning and Carlos Perez, who had three hits, reached on an infield single.
Trout connected for his 36th homer in the sixth on an 0-2 pitch from Hernandez, who went seven innings, allowing four runs and five hits, striking out five and walking two.
Nick Tropeano (2-2), in his fourth stint with the Angels and making his fifth start this season, worked five innings for the victory, allowing two runs and four hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Joe Smith finished the ninth for his third save.
Seattle’s Nelson Cruz hit his 42nd home run in the first inning, tying Baltimore’s Chris Davis for the major league lead. He has 27 career home runs against the Angels, his most against any team.
Franklin Gutierrez added his 13th home run in the seventh.
Mariners: OF Shawn O’Malley was out of the lineup Tuesday, one day after being hit in the head diving back to second on a pickoff play. He could have played but irrespective of the beaning manager Lloyd McClendon intended to rest him. He pinch-hit in the ninth. … IF-OF Brad Miller, a late scratch Sunday with neck spasms and served only as a pinch-runner Monday, was back in the lineup Tuesday.
Angels: 2B Johnny Giavotella took early batting practice to test his vision issues. He has been dealing with blurred vision for about three weeks. “Not quite as sharp with his vision but it’s much better,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4, 4.05 ERA) has had a couple of inexplicable outings over his last four. He twice gave up five straight hits and was removed with barely enough time for a reliever to warm up. Those were his only losses in his last eight starts. He is 7-2 with a 2.71 ERA in 12 appearances against the Angels.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (7-10, 4.71 ERA) has had 32 career starts against the Mariners, going 14-11 with a 3.45 ERA. He has faced Seattle just once this season, a 4-1 loss on Opening Day.
CLOSER OF THE FUTURE?
The Mariners, who have had closer problems all season, will go with Tom Wilhelmsen in save situations the rest of the way. And perhaps next season? “Put a gun to my head, I’d say yes (next season),” McClendon said. “He’s done a really nice job.” Fernando Rodney started the year as the closer but blew seven save opportunities and was traded to the Cubs on Aug. 27. Carson Smith tried closing for a time but after a blown save on Aug. 22, Wilhelmsen took over and has 10 saves in as many opportunities.
LEADING OFF: DAVID MURPHY
Angels LF David Murphy was the leadoff hitter Tuesday for the first time this season. He generally has batted in the middle of the lineup. “Part of it is just changing the neighborhood a little bit, just seeing if we can set the table a little better,” Scioscia said. “Right now, on the offensive side we need to find some continuity. This could be something that could give us a little bit of a jump start.” He hit a three-run home run in the third.
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