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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

March 31, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Game No. 1: Mariners at Angels

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So the games are real and they count now. It’s about damn time. Regardless of how you think this team will do this season (the consensus being below .500), it’s good to have real games and the season starting.

Let’s make it a good season and have some fun. Because in the end, it’s still a game.

A few comments from Robinson Cano pregame ….

On his excitement for opening day …

“Yeah. New year, different team. Just looking forward to the opportunity.”

On if opening day will strange not being with the Yankees … 

“Honestly, no. I’ve been in spring training 50 days now. I’ve forgot what it looks like on the other side. Just looking forward. I adjusted to the team right away. This organization, teammates, everyone made me feel like a part of this team. Looking forward to this opening day. You always do. Can’t wait for that.”

 On if this opening day will feel different than other Opening Days:

“Oh, yeah, of course. Everyone one is different. You have those butterflies in your stomach. You’re anxious. Once you get that first one…that first one’s always the hardest. Looking forward to that one.”

On the Mariners … 

“We got some young kids that are hungry. They know how to play this game. We have a good pitching staff, coaches. We have a good team. We have to go out there and play hard every single game.”

On working with young players, if they take his message to heart ….

“Honestly, yeah. Those are things you want. I was a young kid when I first came up, and I had guys that took me under their wing, teach me how to play the game the right way, and gave me those little tips that helped me take it to the next level. Those are the same things I try to do with those guys. Things I learned from the veterans, try to pass that on. Those things can help them not only to be able to play here one year, but will help them in the long term.”

Pregame

We have our first injury and it’s not to a player but a coach. Angels hitting coach Don Baylor hurt himself catching the ceremonial first pitch from Vlad Guerrero. His leg buckled under him and got trapped. Baylor tried to get up and the leg gave away. It was an ugly scene. Trainers had to help him off the field. It was ugly. Not exactly a good omen to start the season.

 First inning

Abraham Almonte started off the Mariners season with a sharp single to right field. Almonte was behind in the count and fought off a few pitches and didn’t give in. He wasn’t on base long. He tried to steal second and was thrown out by catcher Chris Iannetta. Brad Miller popped up and Robinson Cano, who was lustily booed when his name was announced, grounded out.

Mike Trout has hit well against Felix Hernandez in his brief career. Then again, Trout hits everyone.  But he continues to be an issue for Felix. Kole Calhoun dumped a single into right and then Mike Trout hammered a two-run homer into left field. The ball was a missile out of the park. He’s now 16-for-39 against Felix for his career. Hernandez came back and retired the next three batters.

Angels 2, Mariners 0

 Second inning

The Mariners have their first run of the season. Justin Smoak led off the inning with a double down the right-field line. He moved to third on a error by Howie Kendrick on a ground ball from Kyle Seager. Smoak later scored on Michael Saunders deep fly to right field.

Felix worked a 1-2-3 inning.

Angels 2, Mariners 1

Third inning

The Mariners go down 1-2-3 as Weaver seems to have found a little rhythm.

Not a good inning for the Mariners. Seager boots a ball to start the inning. Felix gets a pair of outs but then gives up a “double” to Albert Pujols on a ball to left field that Dustin Ackley should have caught, but he overran it and misplayed it. Felix then walked Josh Hamilton and came back to strike out David Freese. That’s a nice little 30 pitch inning for Felix. He’s at 59 pitches.

Angels 3, Mariners 1

Fourth inning

Robinson Cano notched his first hit as a Mariner. It went about 20 feet. Cano hit a swinging bunt squibber to third base that David Freese had really no play on for his first hit. But the Mariners did nothing with it. Smoak struck out. LoMo struck out and Seager hit a soft comebacker to Weaver.

Felix looked strong in the inning. He struck out Raul Ibanez, hit Howie Kendrick with a pitch and then came back to strike out Chris Iannetta and Erick Aybar.

Fifth inning

The Mariners got a one-out walk from Ackley. But Zunino struck out and Trout made a solid catch on a looper from Almonte.

Felix retired  the side 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. He now has nine in five innings.

Sixth inning

M’s got a run to cut the lead to 3-2. Kyle Seager doubled home Justin Smoak. But Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun made a nice play on the ball of the wall, fired a perfect throw to Kendrick, who fired home to get Logan Morrison at home by several steps. Third base coach Rich Donnelly gambled that Calhoun wouldn’t play it perfectly off the wall. But he did.

Felix gives up single to Josh Hamilton to start the inning and then comes back to strike out the side.

Angels 3, Mariners 2.

Seventh inning

The Mariners took 4-3 lead. Dustin Ackley singled and then Mike Zunino tripled off the wall in left field to score Ackley, ending Weaver’s night.  Abraham Almonte then doubled off of Fernando Salas to give the M’s a 4-3 lead.

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