Felix Hernandez allowed one earned run and pitched into the sixth inning for his first victory since last June, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 on Monday night.
Demoted to the No. 5 spot in Seattle’s rotation after a career-worst season in 2018, Hernandez overcame shoddy defense to give the Mariners the kind of start they need from the nearly 33-year-old former ace.
With the King’s Court fan section at his back, Hernandez (1-0) allowed seven hits and overcame four errors by his defense. He struck out four and didn’t issue a walk in earning his first victory since June 30, 2018. Hernandez went his final 11 starts of last season without a win. He was charged with two unearned runs.
Seattle’s bullpen was also solid, throwing 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only two baserunners — including an intentional walk to Mike Trout. Roenis Elias pitched the ninth for his first save.
Jay Bruce homered for the third straight game, hitting a two-run shot in the seventh inning. Seattle has 16 home runs and has scored at least five runs in all seven games.
Seattle scored four times in the first inning off starter Chris Stratton (0-1), including RBI singles by Domingo Santana and Omar Narvaez and a two-run double by AL player of the week Tim Beckham. The Mariners missed chances to extend the lead, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth and runners at second and third in the sixth.
Bruce didn’t miss Hansel Robles’ fastball, homering in three straight games for the 12th time in his career.
Albert Pujols doubled in the fourth inning for the 640th of his career, moving into a tie with Honus Wagner for ninth on the career list. The Angels scored twice in the fourth inning helped by a pair of errors from Narvaez, but were shutdown otherwise.
Angels pitcher Andrew Heany underwent a CT scan on his left elbow Monday and was diagnosed as having normal chronic wear in his pitching elbow, general manager Billy Eppler said. Heany will undergo a cortisone injection and should be cleared to resume his throwing program in the next seven-to-10 days. Eppler said Heany won’t completely start over his throwing program but will take some time before he’s back on the mound.
Seattle made a minor trade Monday, acquiring right-handed reliever Connor Sadzeck from Texas in exchange for minor league pitcher Grant Anderson. Sadzeck will add depth to a bullpen that was Seattle’s biggest question entering the season. Sadzeck was designated for assignment by Texas on March 28. He appeared in 13 games last season with the Rangers, but has struggled with control.
Seattle transferred reliever Hunter Strickland to the 60-day injured list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Beckham was named the AL player of the week on Monday after a scintillating start to the season. Including Seattle’s two games in Tokyo against Oakland, Beckham was hitting. 435 with three home runs, two doubles and six RBIs in the first six games. All three of Beckham’s homers came in the first three games, including a pair in the home opener against Boston. It was Beckham’s second career player of the week award.
Angels: Trevor Cahill (0-1) looks to rebound from a rough start in the season opener when he allowed four earned runs in six innings against Oakland. He has a 3.40 ERA in his career against Seattle.
Mariners: Marco Gonzales (2-0) makes his third start of the season. Gonzales has allowed three earned runs in both of his starts pitching into or through the sixth inning in both.