Leake stopped: Seattle snaps 3-game skid, beats Angels 4-3
SEATTLE (AP) — Ben Gamel hit a three-run homer to give Seattle an early lead, Mike Leake overcame first-inning problems to pitch six solid innings, and the Mariners snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
Leake (2-0) followed almost the exact same script from his first start with Seattle, giving up three straight hits to start the game and allowing two first-inning runs. And just like his first start, Leake quickly settled down, retiring 13 straight batters at one point before C.J. Cron's two-out single in the fifth inning. Leake allowed two earned runs and struck out five, as Seattle got a needed victory to continue hanging around the edges of the AL wild-card race.
Gamel provided the big blow with his eighth home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the second on a 1-2 pitch from Angels starter Ricky Nolasco. Mitch Haniger added an RBI single an inning later and Nolasco (6-13) was unable to make it out of the fourth.
Leake has provided Seattle's injury-riddled rotation exactly what it needed in his two starts, making early corrections and getting deep enough to salvage some innings from already overworked bullpen arms.
It was a shaky beginning, though, for the Seattle right-hander. Brandon Phillips singled to open the game, Mike Trout doubled and both scored on Justin Upton's two-run single. But Leake immediately stopped the big inning getting a double play out of Albert Pujols.
Leake was nearly flawless until the sixth when Upton's two-out single and a passed ball led to an unearned run on Pujols' RBI single. Leake was helped earlier in the inning when Gamel made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Phillips of at least a double and possibly a home run.
Pujols barely missed a game-tying home run leading off the ninth against Seattle closer Edwin Diaz as his liner hit the wall in left-center on the fly. Diaz recovered, retiring the next three for his 32nd save.
The Angels placed INF Jefry Marte on the 10-day disabled list after he was discovered to have a broken bone in his left foot. Manager Mike Scioscia said Marte actually suffered the injury about a week ago when he was still at Triple-A Salt Lake and fouled a ball off his foot. Marte was recalled from the minors last Monday, but the foot injury never improved and Marte was eventually discovered to have a small fracture.
SIM GAME SUCCESS
Both Felix Hernandez and James Paxton threw successful simulated games on Friday. Hernandez threw 35 pitches and Paxton threw 40 and both proclaimed themselves ready to rejoin Seattle's rotation that's been decimated by injuries this season. Manager Scott Servais said both will likely throw another bullpen session and could be slotted back into the lineup on Seattle's upcoming trip. Servais said the optimal scenario would have one throw at Texas at the end of a four-game series against the Rangers and the other likely throw next weekend at Houston. Both would be limited to about 50-60 pitches.
Angels: Andrew Heaney (1-1) will make his fifth start of the season. He gave up five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in his last start — a loss — against Texas.
Mariners: Andrew Albers (3-1) looks to continue his unexpected run of success. Albers allowed one run and one hit in his last start against Oakland.