For the LA Angels a match-up of Ricky Nolasco Vs. Felix Hernandez didn’t look favorable, but this is a new year.
Nolasco matched King Félix pitch for pitch and helped the LA Angels stay in the game early until the offense could get going later in the game. Nolasco’s only mistake was a first inning two-run homer he gave up to Mitch Haniger. From there Nolasco was lights out only giving up two more hits and he left leading 3-2 after six innings.
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Before the game, Mike Trout was honored in front of the Halo faithful for his 2016 American League Most Valuable Player Award. This MVP Award was his second of his five-year career. Trout joined Johnny Bench, Stan Musial, Jimmie Foxx, and Mickey Mantle as the only players in MLB history to win multiple MVP Awards before their age-25 season. And, to answer your question, yes, all of those players now reside in the Hall of Fame. Trout was also presented with his fifth consecutive Silver Slugger Award.
Trout would celebrate his achievements on the field as well. In the seventh inning and the score tied at 3-3, the reigning MVP would take the Mariners Evan Scribner deep for a two-run blast over the left-centerfield wall that gave the Angels a 5-3 lead that they would never relinquish.
The Angels also played phenomenal defense as well. They turned an inning-ending double play to end the third inning. The batter was thrown out at first, and with Andrelton Simmons covering third, Jean Segura tried advancing on the throw to first. The throw was off, but Simmons made a miraculous behind-the-back tag to end the inning.
Cam Bedrosian came on for the five-out save. He struck out four batters, including all three in the ninth innings. He earned his second save on the year and brought the Angels to a 4-2 record. This game dropped the Mariners to an AL worst 1-5.
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The Angels opened up their scoring in the second inning, when Danny Espinosa brought in Albert Pujols on a deep drive to right. Kole Calhoun drove in Yunel Escobar in the third inning. In his next at-bat, Escobar hit a big fly to center field to break the tie.
The Angels celebrated Trout’s MVP dominance with a win, and continue to play great baseball through the first part of this season.