Albert Pujols' three-run HR in ninth gives Angels 9-7 win
SEATTLE — With one swing, Albert Pujols hushed a fervent crowd on a wild Saturday night at Safeco Field.
Pujols hit a three-run, ninth-inning home run to fuel the Angels second rally in Los Angeles' 9-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
The Angels trailed 2-1 before taking the lead with a five-run seventh, but then Seattle came back with a five-run eighth that ignited the crowd of 42,088. Steve Clevenger had a two-out RBI single to cap the inning for a 7-6 lead heading into the ninth.
Closer Steve Cishek (2-3) couldn't save it. With one out, he hit Kole Calhoun with a pitch and Mike Trout singled to right. Pujols then hit his eighth home run on a 1-1 slider, sending patrons quietly toward the exits.
"It was like that the whole game, wild, crazy," said Angels reliever Joe Smith, who earned his third save in four opportunities. "To do that in this environment, it's pretty cool.
"Everyone likes the cheering and stuff but sometimes that silence is even better."
The Mariners had come back from a 6-2 deficit in the eighth. Adam Lind had two of his four RBIs in the rally.
"You have to keep playing. It's a game where you get 27 outs, nine innings, sometimes more," Calhoun said. "We definitely used the ninth inning to put some good bats together and came out of here with a win.
"(Pujols is) awesome, man," Calhoun added. "He's been doing this for a long, long time. We're glad to have him on our team. He's definitely going to do something to help the team win every single day. He's been like that for 16 years or so."
Cishek said when he entered the game he was fully confident that he could finish the job.
"Just got too aggressive with a slider," Cishek said. "I didn't get my hand on top of the ball, and I paid for it, the team paid for it. There was no doubt. As soon as I released, it didn't come out of my hand right. It was loud off the bat. He put a great swing on it. No doubter."
The Mariners lost Friday's game on a ninth-inning RBI by C.J. Cron, also off Cishek.
"Just going to wear it tonight and try to get some sleep," Cishek said. "Once the sun comes up, Lord willing, I'm just going to come back at it again."
Johnny Giavotella, Calhoun and Trout each homered during Los Angeles' five-run seventh.
"Electricity in the ballpark, I thought our fans were unbelievable tonight," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I looked around during the rally, and it's like, `That's what it should be like.' Tip my hat to them. It was a good ballgame. It was entertaining, it was exciting, it was gut wrenching, it had everything."
Cam Bedrosian (1-0) got one out in the eighth inning.
The Angels have to deal with three aces over their next three games. They begin Sunday against Seattle's former Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez (3-2, 2.27 ERA). Then Monday they open their four-game series at the Dodgers against Kenta Maeda (3-2, 2.30) followed by former Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 1.74). Those three are a combined 11-5 with a 2.06 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 148 innings.
EXTRAS IN MAY
Seattle's Kyle Seager, who doubled in the seventh, leads the majors with 11 extra-base hits thus far in May. Seager had just eight for all of April.
Angels: The Angels, with seven players on the DL, got a break with third baseman Yunel Escobar. Escobar jammed his thumb Thursday diving for a ball and the club feared he would be out for some time. But he missed just one game and returned to the lineup Saturday.
Mariners: Both LHP Charlie Furbush (left biceps tendinitis) and RHP Joaquin Benoit (right shoulder inflammation) threw simulated games Saturday. "Both threw the ball really, really well and felt great coming out of it, so thumbs up," manager Scott Servais said. Furbush will likely throw one more sim game, and then report to the team's Arizona facility. Servais said Benoit may be activated during the next road trip, or have an outing at Triple-A.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (2-2, 4.07) beat the Mariners 4-2 on April 23. He is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in last three starts against Seattle.
Mariners: Hernandez, second in the league in home ERA (0.83), became the winningest pitcher (146) in club history last Monday but has a 14-15 career record against the Angels. He is 7-3 with a 1.55 ERA in his past 15 starts against Los Angeles.