Wednesday, April 2, 2014
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — From the on-deck circle, Justin Smoak couldn't blame the Angels for walking Robinson Cano to load the bases in the third inning.
When Smoak cleared those bases with a powerful double, he demonstrated why the new-look Seattle Mariners are a whole lot more than their new $240 million man.
Brad Miller hit two homers, Erasmo Ramirez pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, and the Mariners beat Los Angeles 8-3 Tuesday night for their second win of the season.
Abraham Almonte and Dustin Ackley also had RBI doubles as the Mariners followed up their 10-3 win on opening day with another surprising offensive barrage. They only needed a supporting role from Cano, who went 1 for 3 with two walks.
"No doubt. Why wouldn't you?" Smoak said of the Angels' strategy in pitching around Cano. "There's a reason why you do it, but we're all going to have to get big hits with guys on base this season."
So far, it's happening all the time: The Mariners scored 16 runs in their first 15 innings of the year while beating Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, their AL West rivals' two best starters.
Miller provided an unexpected power burst with a solo homer in the fifth and a two-run shot in the ninth, while Smoak has six RBIs in the Mariners' first two games.
"We just wanted to show them we've got some hitters," said Miller, who has four multihomer games — but just 10 total homers — in his career. "We've got some depth. Starting on the road against two pretty good pitchers and a good lineup, getting two wins like that is a pretty great way to start a season."
Ramirez (1-0) backed up his solid spring training with impressive work against the Angels' star-studded lineup, striking out six without walking a batter. He retired 11 straight after squelching the Angels' rally in the fourth inning.
Wilson (0-1) labored into the sixth inning for the Angels, who are off to their first 0-2 start since 2001.
Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer and Josh Hamilton had two hits for the Angels, who spent the entire spring determined to avoid yet another slow start, a prime reason for Los Angeles' four-year postseason absence.
"There's a lot of things we need to do better," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're a better team than showed up the last couple of games. We're getting some guys on base, and our situational hitting was great all spring. We just have to do a little bit better job of it."
Los Angeles went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, dropping to 1 for 13 in the young season.
Wilson, who had a career-best 17 wins last season for the Angels, needed 95 pitches to get through the first five innings against Seattle. He gave up eight hits and had eight strikeouts, including the 1,000th of his career.
"I've got a lot of confidence in our offense," Wilson said. "That's the mentality you have to have with the guys we have. If you don't score and you give up a run early, everybody seems to press a little bit. If you're not winning, you're not having a good time."
Ibanez has struck out five times already this season, but he trimmed his former team's lead with his first homer for the Angels in the fourth.
Ackley chased Wilson on his 114th pitch, drilling a double off the right-field wall in the sixth.
Albert Pujols doubled in the eighth and scored on Cano's two-out throwing error, but Joe Beimel relieved Tom Wilhelmsen and picked David Freese off first base, ending the inning before throwing a pitch.
Freese got his first hit for the Angels in the second inning, but is off to a 1-for-8 start.
Mike Trout went 0 for 3 and was hit by a pitch on his bobblehead night.
Seattle closer Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth in the former Angels reliever's first appearance for his new team.
NOTES: Seattle OF Stefen Romero went 0 for 4 in his major league debut. ... Angels relievers Dane De La Rosa and Sean Burnett will throw a simulated game in Anaheim on Wednesday before deciding the next step in their recovery from injuries. ... In just his fifth season as a starting pitcher, Wilson fanned Kyle Seager for his 1,000th career strikeout. The former Texas reliever is the 41st active player to reach the milestone. ... Mariners DH Corey Hart got his first hit for his new club, an infield single in the sixth.