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April 1, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Game No. 2: Mariners at Angels

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The next four starts for the Mariners’ rotation will be interesting. Manager Lloyd McClendon praised Erasmo Ramirez pregame, saying he felt like the young right-hander will give the Mariners a good chance to win. Ramirez needs to get ahead and also make sure to be better with two strikes. Another thing to watch will be the running game. John Buck isn’t a great catch and throw guy so the Angels will test him.

First inning

The Mariners go down 1-2-3 as Robinson Cano’s hard hit ball to left field was caught by Josh Hamilton before running into the fence.

Ramirez retired the side in order 1-2-3, using just eight pitches.

Second inning

Justin Smoak with some nice hitting, bouncing a ball up the middle through a major hole in the shift to get on base. However, a miscommunication on a likely hit and run had him thrown out at second base on a steal attempt. Obviously, the Mariners aren’t having Smoak steal.

Ramirez finds his first trouble. He gave up back to back singles to start the inning. But he came back with a strikeout of Raul Ibanez and then got Howie Kendrick to ground into a 5-3 double play.

Third inning

Dustin Ackley got things going with a one-out single. John Buck followed with a swinging bunt single. Abraham Almonte then doubled to left to score Ackley. Wilson came back to strike out Brad Miller for the second out. So with runners on second and third and two outs, Angels manager Mike Scioscia played the percentages and had Wilson walk Robinson Cano to load the bases. The strategy, which is logical for many reasons, including the fact that Cano came in 11-for-30 against Wilson, backfired. Smoak sat on a 1-1 fastball and hammered a line-drive into the gap to clear the bases, giving the M’s a 4-0 lead.

Ramirez found a little trouble. With two outs and a runner on first, a change-up to Mike Trout leaked inside and hit him in the elbow. Angels fans were incensed because, well, that’s a common reaction. Anyway, Ramirez came back and got Albert Pujols to line out to Almonte in center to end the inning.

Mariners 4, Angels 0

Fourth inning

The Mariners go down 1-2-3 to Wilson

Ramirez made a costly mistake. With one out and Josh Hamilton on second following a lead-off double, Ramirez left an 89 mph fastball over the outside part of the plate and Raul Ibanez crushed it over the wall in center field. Ibanez’s bat has looked slow at times in the first two games. But if you give him that pitch,  he’s going to hit it hard more often than not.

The inning was prolonged with Brad Miller booting a ground ball at shortstop and Hank Conger dropping a dying quail in between Romero, Cano and Almonte in shallow right-center. But Ramirez showed a little moxie, striking out Aybar and Calhoun to end the bleeding.

Mariners 4, Angels 2

Fifth inning

The Mariners add another run with two outs. Brad Miller, who had struck out in his previous two at-bats, launched a ball over the wall in deep right-center to push the lead to 5-2. Cano was walked again, but this time Smoak struck out.

Ramirez works a nice 1-2-3 inning.

Mariners 5, Angels 2

Sixth inning

The Mariner added another run in the sixth. Corey Hart got his first hit as a Mariner – an infield swinging bunt, which was the same Cano and Buck. He later scored on Dustin Ackley’s double off the wall in right-center. Mariners lead 6-2

Ramirez goes 1-2-3 …

Mariners 6, Angels 2.

Seventh inning

Robinson Cano reached on a two-out infield hit, but Smoak grounded out to end the inning.

Ramirez works a 1-2-3 inning. He’s retired 11 straight after the Conger bloop single.



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