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April 8, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Game thread: Angels at Mariners – the home opener

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Umpires: HP – Mike Muchlinski (76), 1B – Mike Winters (33), 2B – Andy Fletcher (49), 3B – Seth Buckminster (67). Muchlinksi is Washington native. He went to Ephrata High School and then UW. He achieved full service status a few years ago after climbing the ladder. He was born in Tacoma – so he can’t be all bad.

First inning

Not the best start for James Paxton. He gave up a one-out single to Mike Trout and then left a fastball up to Albert Pujols, who crushed it off the scoreboard beyond the bullpens in left field for a two-run homer. Two pitches later David Freese crushed a homer to dead center for back-to-back homers for the Angels. Paxton finally got out of the inning getting a pair of fly outs. Stefen Romero made a nice catch shoestring catch for the final out.

The Mariners got a one-out walk from Abraham Almonte, but Robinson Cano grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Angels 3, Mariners 0

Second inning

Paxtons seems to have settled down getting a 1-2-3 inning. We also saw how solid Justin Smoak is defensively. He made good plays on all three outs.

With two outs Kyle Seager drew a lead-off walk and Hector Santiago hit Romero with a pitch, but Dustin Ackley struck out on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Third inning

Paxton has a much better rhythm on the mound and his location has improved. He sets down the Angels in order. He also got a little help from Kyle Seager, who made a brilliant diving stop on Albert Pujols hard ground ball.

Hector Santiago and Hector Noesi share the first name. And they also share the affinity for gutting two-strike pitches. With two outs, Brad Miller reached on a wild pitch on a third strike. Santiago then walked Robinson Cano. Santiago jumped ahead 1-2 on Justin Smoak but left a pitch over the middle that Smoak hammered into center for a RBI single. Then after going up 0-2 on Corey Hart, Santiago grooved another 0-2 pitch that Hart hit onto the roof of Edgar’s Cantina for a three-run homer.

Mariners 4, Angels 3

Fourth inning

Paxton found his command. Struck out the side.

Zunino comes up with a one-out single, but the M’s can’t do much with it.

Mariners 4, Angels 3

Fifth inning

Another 1-2-3 inning for Paxton.

Justin Smoak comes up with a double to left center. Corey Hart appears to fly out to Josh Hamilton, who looks like he loses the ball on the transfer. McClendon challenges the call and it’s overruled. So Hart reaches on an E-7. Kyle Seager walked to load the bases with one out. But Romero popped up to short and Ackley flew out to  left to end the inning.

Sixth inning

After giving up a single to Kole Calhoun, Paxton threw one pitch to Mike Trout and motioned toward the dugout. McClendon and trainer Rob Nodine came to the mound, conversed briefly and they left the mound.

We are waiting to hear from the Mariners what the issue is.

Update: Mariners say Paxton has a strained left lat and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. A pessimist will say that it’s the exact same initial diagnosis Stephen Pryor had last season.



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