The Seattle Mariners ranked near the bottom of the AL in runs last season, leading them to bring in some new faces to add some pop to the lineup.
They haven’t had much trouble scoring against the Los Angeles Angels.
Seattle seeks its fifth victory over Los Angeles on the young season Wednesday as the clubs continue their series at Safeco Field.
After suffering through a fourth straight losing season, the Mariners made a plethora of changes that centered around the addition of Robinson Cano, who signed a 10-year, $240 million deal.
Cano hit .391 through his first six games before going 0 for 3 on Tuesday, but fellow newcomer Corey Hart picked up the slack with a three-run homer and a solo shot as Seattle (5-2) won its home opener 5-3 over the Angels.
Hart missed the entire 2013 season due to microfracture surgeries on both knees. He signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal as he hopes to put up numbers similar to his time in Milwaukee, where he hit 87 homers over his final three seasons.
Each of Hart’s five hits has come in three games against the Angels. He went 0 for 9 in two games against Oakland.
”So many guys on this team have been chipping in and I haven’t been one of them,” Hart said. ”I was getting kind of tired watching everyone else help out.”
The Mariners swept Los Angeles to open the season, outscoring the Angels 26-8 over the three-game set. They didn’t score more than three runs while dropping two of three to Oakland before Tuesday’s victory.
Seattle will look to keep rolling against Los Angeles behind Roenis Elias, who was impressive in his major league debut Thursday while allowing one run and two hits in five innings before the Mariners fell 3-2 in 12 innings to the Athletics.
Elias allowed only two runners to advance past first base. The left-hander admitted he will be excited to pitch in front of the home crowd for the first time.
”It’s going to be a little bit different being at home,” Elias said. ”Felix (Hernandez) already talked to me and told me to be aggressive and stay ahead with my pitches and leave it out there.”
He’ll be facing an Angels offense that couldn’t get anything going after scoring three runs on three hits in the first inning Tuesday. Los Angeles (3-5) had only one hit over the final eight frames after Albert Pujols and David Freese hit back-to-back homers in the first.
Josh Hamilton, who went 12 for 24 over his first seven, went 0 for 3 before being removed for a pinch-hitter in the ninth due to a left thumb injury.
The Angels announced hours before this game that he will out six to eight weeks because of a torn ligament.
Garrett Richards will take the mound after giving up three runs – one earned – and striking out seven in five innings of an 11-1 win over Houston on Friday.
Richards is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA in three starts against the Mariners. The most recent of those came Aug. 23 at Safeco as the right-hander gave up four hits in 7 1-3 innings in a 2-0 win.