Angels 6, Mariners 5

Rookies are supposed to be overmatched against pitchers like

Felix Hernandez. Mike Trout is no ordinary rookie.

Trout tied a career high with five RBIs, including a three-run

homer and a rare two-run sacrifice fly, and pinch-runner Peter

Bourjos scored on a wild pitch in the ninth inning to give the Los

Angeles Angels a 6-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday

night.

”You’re talking about one of the best pitchers in the game –

one of the top-five strikeout leaders – and Trout stood up to him.

That’s the type of player he is,” Angels outfielder Torii Hunter

said. ”It shows he has the plate discipline. It doesn’t matter

who’s on the mound. He’s not afraid. He’s ready to go. And that’s

what I love about him. He’s a bulldog.”

Kendrys Morales led off the ninth against Josh Kinney (0-2) with

his second double of the game and was replaced by Bourjos. Alberto

Callaspo was intentionally walked, and both runners advanced on

Howie Kendrick’s sacrifice. Another intentional pass to Erick Aybar

brought up pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis, who watched Kinney’s 1-2

pitch skip past catcher John Jaso.

Angels closer Ernesto Frieri (1-0) earned his first American

League win, striking out the side in the ninth on 13 pitches.

Ervin Santana ended up with a fortunate no-decision after

falling behind 5-0 in the third on a two-run homer by Dustin Ackley

and a three-run shot by Jaso on a 3-0 pitch. The right-hander was

charged with four earned runs and five hits over 6 1-3 innings. He

struck out six.

”He just had a rough inning. That’s all,” Hunter said. ”Guys

just went over and tapped him on the shoulder to show him that we

were going to battle through it. We got three runs and got some new

life, then he settled down and got the breaking ball down a little

bit and located the fastball better.”

Hernandez allowed five runs – four earned – and five hits in

seven innings with three strikeouts. The 2010 AL Cy Young Award

winner was 6-0 with a 1.41 ERA over his previous 10 starts,

lowering his ERA from 3.70 to 2.63 prior to facing the Angels. In

two starts against them this season, he has yielded nine earned

runs in 13 innings.

The Angels tied it 5-all in the fifth when Trout was credited

with two RBIs on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Eric Thames caught

the ball in the right-field corner after a long run and collided

with the short fence before making a return throw toward second

base. Aybar kept running all the way from second after the catch,

waved home by third base coach Dino Ebel, and scored behind

Kendrick.

”On that play right there, you know that all three runners are

going to tag up, and the guy at third base is definitely going to

score,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. ”The guy at second base

is definitely going to get to third base, so what you have to do is

control the baseball and make sure the guy at second doesn’t come

all the way around. So Eric needed to hit the cutoff man, but what

he ended up doing was (throwing over) him.”

Trout, who celebrated his 21st birthday last Tuesday with a home

run at Oakland, hit his 21st homer of the season in the third to

slice Seattle’s lead to 5-3 after Kendrick led off with a double

and Aybar reached on an error by shortstop Brendan Ryan. Aybar was

running on the 3-2 pitch to Trout, who leads all rookies with 60

RBIs.

”I’m just comfortable right now,” Trout said. ”I got a good

pitch to hit, a 3-2 changeup, and it was right in my wheelhouse. I

was just trying to hit the ball up the middle and stay short with

my swing.”

Trout also had five RBIs on Aug. 30, 2011, at Seattle – a

three-run homer, a solo shot and a bases-loaded walk. He is the

first player to get two RBIs on a sacrifice fly since teammate

Albert Pujols did it with the Cardinals on June 7, 2009, against

Colorado.

Hernandez was coming off a two-hitter in a 1-0 win at Yankee

Stadium last Saturday. He had allowed only one home run in his

previous 12 starts and 82 2-3 innings since giving up back-to-back

homers by Gordon Beckham and Adam Dunn of the White Sox on June 1

at Chicago.

”Felix didn’t have his sharpest stuff tonight,” Jaso said.

”It was tough for him to throw his changeup righty-on-righty, and

that’s what Trout hit out. But I definitely don’t want to take

anything away from Trout because he’s proven himself to be a great

player. And driving that ball to right field to get that sac fly

shows you right there how good he is. He stayed inside of it, knew

what to do and hit it hard.”

NOTES: Hernandez and Santana are among four active pitchers with

200 or more big league starts who have made all of them with one

team. The others are Detroit’s Justin Verlander and San Francisco’s

Matt Cain. … Santana has served up eight homers in his last four

outings. His career total is 192, second-most in Angels history

behind Chuck Finley’s 254. … Ryan, who came in leading AL

shortstops with a .993 fielding percentage, returned to the lineup

after missing four games because of a bruised left elbow. …

Hernandez is third in the AL with 162 strikeouts, trailing Detroit

teammates Max Scherzer (168) and Verlander (166). … Callaspo, who

had a pinch-hit grand slam against Hernandez in the Angels’ 5-3

victory on May 26 at Safeco Field, was 0 for 3 against him. …

Santana has a 7.29 ERA during the first three innings and a 5.82

mark overall.