SEATTLE (AP) A healthy and confident Nelson Cruz usually means good things are on the horizon for the Seattle Mariners.
Cruz homered twice and the surprising Mariners overcame Mike Trout’s two home runs to beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 on Monday night.
”(Cruz) feels good about his swing and where his body is at, which is good,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. ”For home run hitters, it goes in streaks. You see guys hit five, six, seven – they just get in that groove. And he’s certainly in that groove right now. So, hopefully we can ride it as long as we can.”
Ryon Healy hit a two-run shot for the Mariners, who chased Andrew Heaney early and won for the ninth time in 11 games. Seattle sits atop the AL West by a half-game over the World Series champion Houston Astros.
Trout tied Boston slugger J.D. Martinez for the major league lead with 21 homers. Albert Pujols also went deep for the Angels.
Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc (2-0) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings. He loaded the bases in the fifth but struck out Justin Upton to escape unscathed.
”(LeBlanc) gives you a different look every pitch. He moves the fastball around,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”Reminds me of the way Jamie Moyer used to pitch. He takes enough off and keeps guys off balance. We had some opportunities but he made some pitches.”
Cruz homered leading off the fourth. Kyle Seager followed with a single and Healy launched a drive over the left-field fence to give the Mariners a 5-2 lead.
Trout cut the margin to two with his second homer of the game, but Edwin Diaz pitched a clean ninth for his major league-best 24th save in 27 chances.
Trout and Pujols homered in the first before Cruz tied it in the bottom half with a two-run shot to center.
Heaney (3-5) was shaky after throwing a one-hit shutout against Kansas City in his previous start – on his 27th birthday, no less. This time, the left-hander was tagged for five runs and seven hits in three-plus innings.
”Giving up homers never wins you games, not like that,” Heaney said. ”Not that early, not that often.”
Los Angeles recalled OF Jabari Blash from Triple-A Salt Lake and optioned OF Michael Hermosillo to its top farm team. Scioscia said he wanted the right-handed-hitting Blash in the lineup to face Seattle lefties LeBlanc and Marco Gonzales. Blash was hitting .324 with 18 homers for Salt Lake this season.
Angels: Trout underwent precautionary X-rays postgame after fouling a ball off his left shin in the third. He said they were negative and he expects to play Tuesday. … 1B Jefry Marte was lifted for pinch-hitter Jose Miguel Fernandez in the fourth after bruising his left wrist in a collision with Dee Gordon at first base. Scioscia said X-rays were negative and Marte will be evaluated further on Tuesday. … Scioscia said SS Andrelton Simmons (ankle) is throwing and hitting off a tee, but not running yet. … P/OF Shohei Ohtani began daily therapy on his right elbow UCL sprain Sunday and will be re-evaluated in about three weeks, Scioscia said.
Mariners: RHP Nick Vincent (groin) threw a bullpen and will head out on a rehabilitation assignment later this week, according to manager Scott Servais. … C Chris Herrmann (oblique) took on-field batting practice and is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this week. … RHP Juan Nicascio (knee) received a cortisone shot in his knee and played catch.
Angels: Jaime Barria (5-1) will be recalled from Triple-A to face Seattle on Tuesday. The 21-year-old right-hander has a 2.48 ERA in seven big league starts this season and will make his first career start against the Mariners.
Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (6-3) will make his 14th start of the season and second against the Angels. He’s 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA, 24 strikeouts and two walks in his last six outings.
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