Angels Bullpen, Offense Stumble as Mariners Complete Sweep

By Jose Serrano

Apr 1, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman

Albert Pujols

(5) reacts after striking out in the fifth inning as Seattle Mariners catcher

John Buck

(4) watches at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t the beginning Mike Scioscia envisioned. After completing a successful Cactus League stint, the Los Angeles Angels floundered throughout their season-opening series with the Seattle Mariners, losing Wednesday night’s finale, 8-2.

“Nothing went right in this series, obviously,” Scioscia said in a post-game press conference. “You’d like to carry confidence forwards as the season builds but there wasn’t anything we could really point to, outside of maybe (Jered Weaver’s) first start where he did pitch into the seventh and gave us a chance to win, that you can really take away from this.” The Angels begin a season 0-3 for the first time since 1992.

Newly acquired Hector Santiago lasted just five innings, allowing four runs and three walks in his Angels debut. A 2-0 game entering the sixth, Justin Smoak and Corey Hart reached on back-to-back singles. The left-hander was pulled in favor of Fernando Salas with the runners being Santiago’s responsibility.

Salas didn’t fare much better, floating a slider into Mike Zunino’s power zone that sailed into the left field bullpen. Angels relievers have given up 12 earned runs through 10 innings this season.

“Just about everybody that ran out there on the mound didn’t have the results we had hope for and hopefully that will change,” Scioscia said.

The Angels offense was 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position in the three-game series. Wednesday night’s only notable contributor was Mike Trout who went 2-for-3 with a walk, double, and RBI triple. He is hitting .400 and remains the only player on the team with two multi-hit games. The heart of the order-Albert Pujols, David Freese, and Josh Hamilton– left seven men on base and struck out five times, four coming from Hamilton.

Rookie James Paxton pitched seven shutout innings in leading Seattle to their first sweep of the Halos in Angels Stadium since 2006. He scattered two hits and two walks while striking out nine batters in earning his fourth career victory. Paxton’s next start is scheduled for the Mariners’ home opener next week against the Angels.