Seattle at Los Angeles

W: J. Paxton (1-0) L: H. Santiago (0-1)
HR: SEA - M. Zunino (1),J. Smoak (2),C. Hart (1)   LAA - None

Mariners 8, Angels 2 wire reports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Seattle Mariners quickly answered those critics who thought Robinson Cano wouldn't have enough support in the lineup to make a difference.

James Paxton pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball and Cano drove in his first run for the Mariners on Wednesday night in an 8-2 victory against the Los Angeles Angels, completing a three-game sweep in the team's first series under new manager Lloyd McClendon.

"The last couple of years, a lot of us guys were younger and going through battles and learning some things," first baseman Justin Smoak said. "Now it's time for guys who have been here the last couple of years to step up."

Smoak, Mike Zunino and Corey Hart all hit home runs for Seattle, which outscored the Angels 26-8 while sweeping a season-opening three-game set for only the second time in their 38-year history. The other time was in 1985, when they started out 6-0 at home against Oakland and Minnesota before losing 12 of their next 13.

"We had a lot of confidence coming in," Smoak said. "We've got a great pitching staff. Paxton, Erasmo [Ramirez] and Felix [Hernandez] pitched their butts off and gave us a chance to win, and we were able to score some runs. Now we have to keep it going."

It was the first time the Angels were swept in a three-game series to start a season since 1992, by the Chicago White Sox at Anaheim.

"That's obviously not the way we wanted to come out and open this thing up," said Angels third baseman David Freese. "They all count, but it's a long season and we'll bounce back. There's a lot of guys in this clubhouse that understand what a baseball season consists of, and sometimes this happens."

Paxton (1-0) threw 99 pitches in his fifth big league start and struck out nine, including Josh Hamilton all three times he faced him. Hamilton also struck out against Nector Noesi for the final out after Noesi game up Mike Trout's RBI triple and Freese's sacrifice fly.

Paxton stranded a runner at third base in the first with the help of center fielder Abraham Almonte, who raced in to make a sliding catch on Freese's sinking liner for the third out. He escaped another jam in the fourth by fanning Hamilton and Howie Kendrick with two men on, then struck out the side in the fifth.

Paxton became the second pitcher in Mariners history to win four of his first five big league starts. The other was Michael Pineda, who did it in 2011. Paxton, a Canadian-born left-hander, was 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA four starts last September.

"I just got in a groove and felt really good," Paxton said. "Probably around the third inning, I kind of found my rhythm and everything was coming together really well for me."

Hector Santiago (0-1) was charged with four runs, four hits and three walks in five-plus innings. The 26-year-old left-hander, beginning his first full season as a starter, was acquired in December along with Tyler Skaggs from Arizona in a three-way trade with the Chicago White Sox that sent slugger Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks.

Seattle scored 18 of their runs in this series with two outs. Cano, who left the New York Yankees after nine seasons to sign a 10-year, $240 million free-agent contract, finished his first series in a Seattle uniform 5 for 11 with two intentional walks.

"His presence definitely affects any lineup," Freese said. "I mean, you look up and down that lineup and it's a complete lineup."

Brad Miller, who hit two home runs for the Mariners on Tuesday in an 8-3 victory, legged out a double to right with two outs in the third and came home on Cano's single. Miller drove in the second run with a two-out single in the fifth.

The Mariners broke it open with four runs in the sixth, as Stefan Romero greeted Fernando Salas with an RBI double and Zunino hit his sixth big-league home run. Smoak and Hart both connected with two outs in the ninth against Ernesto Frieri.


Santiago's only other start at Angel Stadium came with the White Sox on May 18, 2013, when he allowed three runs and four hits over 3½ innings in a no-decision. ... The Angels begin a four-game series Friday night at Houston. The Astros won the season series 10-9 last year, despite finishing a major league-worst and franchise-worst 51-111 after switching over from the NL to the AL. ... Angels pitchers gave up 17 extra-base hits and 15 walks in the series.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

J. Paxton
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 2
K 9
Los Angeles

M. Trout
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Seattle Mariners
Abraham Almonte, CF3000212 .231
Brad Miller, SS5121032 .333
Robinson Cano, 2B4021101 .455
Justin Smoak, 1B5221024 .462
Corey Hart, DH5221013 .333
Stefen Romero, RF3121000 .286
   Michael Saunders, RF2000001 .000
Dustin Ackley, LF4000003 .364
Mike Zunino, C4123010 .333
Willie Bloomquist, 3B3110110 .333
James Paxton, P0000000 .000
   Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
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2B - Brad Miller (1, Santiago), Stefen Romero (1, Salas)
HR - Justin Smoak (2, Frieri), Corey Hart (1, Frieri), Mike Zunino (1, Salas)
RBI - Brad Miller (4), Robinson Cano (1), Justin Smoak (7), Corey Hart (1), Stefen Romero (1), Mike Zunino 3 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Brad Miller (4), Robinson Cano (1), Justin Smoak (7), Corey Hart (1)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Bloomquist-Cano-Smoak
Seattle Mariners
James Paxton (W,1-0) 7200290 0.00
Joe Beimel 1000000 0.00
Hector Noesi 1122020 18.00
WP - Hector Noesi (1)
Pitches-Strikes - James Paxton 99-64, Joe Beimel 8-7, Hector Noesi 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Paxton 7-4, Joe Beimel 2-1
Batters Faced - James Paxton 24, Joe Beimel 3, Hector Noesi 5
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
Kole Calhoun, RF4110010 .167
Mike Trout, CF3121100 .400
Albert Pujols, 1B4000013 .167
David Freese, 3B2001101 .100
Josh Hamilton, LF4000042 .300
Howie Kendrick, 2B3000012 .000
Raul Ibanez, DH3000020 .182
Chris Iannetta, C3000010 .000
Erick Aybar, SS3000010 .100
Hector Santiago, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
   Nick Maronde, P0000000 .000
   Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
   Ernesto Frieri, P0000000 .000
2B - Kole Calhoun (1, Paxton), Mike Trout (1, Paxton)
3B - Mike Trout (1, Noesi)
SF - David Freese (1)
RBI - Mike Trout (3), David Freese (1)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols, Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols-Freese-Pujols
E - Josh Hamilton (1, Throwing)
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
Hector Santiago (L,0-1) 5744340 7.20
Fernando Salas 1222121 10.80
Nick Maronde 1100010 6.75
Joe Smith 1100010 0.00
Ernesto Frieri 1222012 18.00
Pitches-Strikes - Hector Santiago 83-46, Fernando Salas 19-13, Nick Maronde 16-9, Joe Smith 17-12, Ernesto Frieri 20-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hector Santiago 5-4, Fernando Salas 1-0, Joe Smith 1-1
Batters Faced - Hector Santiago 23, Fernando Salas 6, Nick Maronde 4, Joe Smith 4, Ernesto Frieri 5
Game Information
Attendance - 38007
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Al Porter, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Marty Foster