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Hart (2 HRs) powers Mariners past Angels in home opener

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Corey Hart saw everyone around him contributing something to the Seattle Mariners' strong start. After a lackluster spring and sluggish first week, he desperately wanted to be a part of it.

His response: a three-run homer and a solo shot that sent the Mariners to a 5-3 victory against the Los Angeles Angels in their home opener Tuesday night.

"So many guys on this team have been chipping in and I haven't been one of them," Hart said. "It was nice to find contact tonight and be able to help out. I was getting kind of tired watching everyone else help out."

Seattle became the final major-league team to open at home and improved to 4-0 this season against the Angels, who got back-to-back home runs from Albert Pujols and David Freese in the first inning. After fans at Safeco Field gave Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll and other members of the Super Bowl champion Seahawks a raucous ovation, the Mariners gave the sold-out crowd some winning baseball to cheer for.

"I'm not a hoopla person. I'd rather just go about my business," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "But it was a good night in a lot of respects. I thought it was a good night for our fans on a lot of different avenues. I was very pleased with how our guys responded."

Seattle scored four times with two outs in the third inning, capped by Hart's three-run homer off starter Hector Santiago (0-2). Hart added his solo drive in the seventh.

Robinson Cano's home debut in Seattle was mostly uneventful. Cano went 0 for 3 and scored a run, getting a massive ovation when he was introduced before the game that was topped only by Felix Hernandez's reception.

Hart, another offseason acquisition, made plenty of noise.

Hart had the 15th multihomer game of his career and first since Sept. 29, 2012, before knee surgery sidelined him for the 2013 season with Milwaukee.

Seattle's rally in the third started when Santiago struck out Brad Miller but the ball bounced away from catcher Chris Iannetta. Miller reached first and Santiago pitched around Cano, walking him on four pitches.

Justin Smoak lined a two-strike single to score Miller, and Hart made Santiago pay for missing with an 0-2 pitch. It was the third time in his career Hart has connected on an 0-2 pitch.

His home run in the seventh was a line drive to center off reliever Fernando Salas.

Seattle starter James Paxton (2-0) gave up two first-inning home runs, then retired 14 straight. He left in the sixth inning after straining a muscle on the left side of his back.

Paxton did not believe his injury was serious, but is taking the precaution of having an MRI on Wednesday. He initially felt a twinge in the fifth inning, but returned in the sixth. If he is sidelined, Paxton would join Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker as expected starters in the Mariners' rotation dealing with early injuries.

"I just want to be careful right now," Paxton said. "They say my strength is still good. I just want to get it checked out."

Paxton was amped up early and it cost him when he gave up a two-run homer to Pujols and a solo shot to Freese. But Paxton quickly settled down and kept the Angels silent from there. Kole Calhoun's single leading off the sixth was the Angels' only hit after the first inning.

"Early on we had some strong looks at Paxton but he settled down and pitched a strong game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Yoervis Medina replaced Paxton and got out of the sixth. Danny Farquhar and Tom Wilhelmsen worked the seventh and eighth, and Fernando Rodney earned his second save despite walking his first two batters in the ninth.

"He was probably a little ticked at himself and turned it up a little bit," McClendon said.

Notes

Pujols became the 52nd player to reach 1,500 RBI. ... Iwakuma is expected to throw his first bullpen session Wednesday as he recovers from a finger injury. ... LHP Roenis Elias will make his first start in Seattle for the Mariners on Wednesday against Garrett Richards. Elias threw five strong innings in his debut last week. "It's going to be a little bit different being at home," he said through a translator. "Felix already talked to me and told me to be aggressive and stay ahead with my pitches and leave it out there."

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Pujols
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Seattle

C. Hart
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
 
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kole Calhoun, RF4010020 .188
Mike Trout, CF4110021 .290
Albert Pujols, 1B2112200 .219
David Freese, 3B3111111 .200
   Collin Cowgill, PR0000000 .250
Josh Hamilton, LF3000010 .444
   a-Ian Stewart, PH1000012 .143
Howie Kendrick, 2B4000022 .250
Raul Ibanez, DH3000102 .192
Chris Iannetta, C3000001 .095
Erick Aybar, SS3000000 .179
Hector Santiago, P0000000 .000
   Michael Kohn, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
   Nick Maronde, P0000000 .000
   Kevin Jepsen, P0000000 .000
Totals3034349  
a-struck out for Hamilton in the 9th
Batting
HR - Albert Pujols (1, Paxton), David Freese (1, Paxton)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (3), David Freese (3)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols
E - Josh Hamilton (2, Dropped line drive)
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Hector Santiago (L,0-2) 4.1544361 7.71
Michael Kohn 0.2000100 4.91
Fernando Salas 1.2111121 6.23
Nick Maronde 0.2100000 3.00
Kevin Jepsen 0.2100010 19.29
WP - Hector Santiago (1)
HBP - Romero (by Hector Santiago)
Pitches-Strikes - Hector Santiago 94-59, Michael Kohn 15-7, Fernando Salas 27-12, Nick Maronde 8-5, Kevin Jepsen 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hector Santiago 2-5, Fernando Salas 1-2
Batters Faced - Hector Santiago 22, Michael Kohn 4, Fernando Salas 7, Nick Maronde 2, Kevin Jepsen 3
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Abraham Almonte, CF5000033 .233
Brad Miller, SS4100133 .219
Robinson Cano, 2B3100101 .346
Justin Smoak, 1B4121010 .321
Corey Hart, DH4224010 .227
Kyle Seager, 3B1010300 .158
Stefen Romero, RF2000004 .222
   Michael Saunders, RF1010000 .231
Dustin Ackley, LF4000016 .250
Mike Zunino, C4020000 .280
James Paxton, P0000000 .000
   Yoervis Medina, P0000000 .000
   Danny Farquhar, P0000000 .000
   Tom Wilhelmsen, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Rodney, P0000000 .000
Totals3258559  
Batting
2B - Justin Smoak (3, Santiago), Kyle Seager (3, Santiago)
HR - Corey Hart 2 (3, Santiago)
RBI - Justin Smoak (9), Corey Hart 4 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Smoak (8), Corey Hart 4 (5)
CS - Kyle Seager (1, 2nd base by Maronde/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Seager-Cano-Smoak
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
James Paxton (W,2-0) 5433042 2.25
Yoervis Medina (H,3) 1000110 2.45
Danny Farquhar (H,1) 1.2000110 0.00
Tom Wilhelmsen (H,2) 0.1000010 0.00
Fernando Rodney (S,2) 1000220 0.00
WP - Yoervis Medina (1)
Pitches-Strikes - James Paxton 60-40, Yoervis Medina 15-8, Danny Farquhar 19-12, Tom Wilhelmsen 5-3, Fernando Rodney 21-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Paxton 7-4, Yoervis Medina 1-0, Danny Farquhar 2-2
Batters Faced - James Paxton 19, Yoervis Medina 3, Danny Farquhar 6, Tom Wilhelmsen 1, Fernando Rodney 5
Game Information
Attendance - 45661
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Seth Buckminster