6 Mariners relievers combine to blank Angels 5-0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Dee Gordon did a happy dance while sitting on the warning track, and the display that was at least nine months in the making inspired an ear-to-ear grin long after it happened.
Gordon not only robbed Mike Trout of extra bases in center field during the fourth inning Friday, he delivered some insurance runs with a two-run single in the seventh during the Seattle Mariners’ 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Asked if the two-run single or the catch made his day, Gordon answered “the catch,” as if he anticipated the question.
“That was pretty cool; that was like the first one in my life,” said Gordon, who insisted his glove was over the wall, robbing Trout of his 34th home run. “I was happy.”
The catch, by a player who has primarily been a middle infielder, ended up preserving a shutout that was fashioned by six relief pitchers. The bullpen day was needed to fill in for scheduled starter James Paxton, who is dealing with a bout of pneumonia.
Roenis Elias gave up just one hit over 3 2/3 innings as the starter. Adam Warren (3-2) got four outs and Shawn Armstrong, Nick Vincent, Zach Duke and Ryan Cook each pitched an inning.
Making just his third start of the season and first since Aug. 19, Elias struck out four and walked two while throwing 58 pitches. In seven previous innings against the Angels this season, Elias had given up one run on six hits with three strikeouts, all in relief.
Elias said he found out he was starting at around before noon Friday.
“They didn’t give me a lot of time but I was ready because I knew something could happen,” Elias said through an interpreter.
The Mariners went ahead to stay against Matt Shoemaker in the fourth inning. Robinson Cano singled in Mitch Haniger for his 13th RBI in 27 games since being reinstated from an 80-game drug suspension.
With two out and runners on second and third, Ryon Healy made it 3-0 with a ground ball into left field.
That early Mariners momentum was preserved when Gordon made the kind of catch he had been dreading when he worked on his outfield play in the offseason. Knowing he might play some outfield this season, Gordon worked briefly on catches against a chain-link fence, but quickly abandoned the workouts.
His dance after making the catch, then, was a combination of relief and a sense accomplishment.
“He likes to celebrate and he is the king of celebration,” Mariners manager Scott Servias said. “I think it’s great. He does enjoy it and he should. It’s a hard game and when something goes your way, or you make a great play, you have to have fun with it.”
The Mariners have won the first two games of the series to improve to 10-7 against Angels, clinching the season series. The Mariners won consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 24-25.
ALL GOOD FOR SHOEMAKER
In his third start since coming off the disabled list after being sidelined by a right forearm strain, Shoemaker (2-1) went 4 2/3 innings. He threw just 77 pitches as the Angels try to limit his usage.
The right-hander was visited by manager Mike Scioscia and a member of the Angels medical staff in the fifth inning, but remained in the game. In 14 2/3 innings since returning from the DL, Shoemaker has a 3.68 ERA.
“Everything is all good,” Shoemaker said. “I think probably just in that fourth inning, I haven’t had a long inning like that in a long time, so I was a little tired going out to the fifth. After the first hitter, it wore off, the adrenaline kicked in and I got back into rhythm.”
ANGELS IN SUMMARY
Trout was named team MVP, and left-hander Andrew Heaney received the Nick Adenhart Award winner for excellence both off the field and on the mound. Adenhart was an Angels rookie pitcher in 2009 when he was killed in a car crash following his first start of the season.
The Angels also announced Friday they have surpassed the 3 million mark in tickets sold, reaching the milestone for the 16th consecutive season.
Mariners: SS Jean Segura returned to the starting lineup after missing three games with a virus. ... OF Cameron Maybin is with the team but remains out of action with an unspecified illness. ... Paxton is expected to rejoin the team in a few days. ... RHP Felix Hernandez (hamstring) is expected to return to the rotation before the end of the season.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (left adductor strain) will rejoin the Angels on Saturday, when he will be evaluated to see if he can return to the rotation next week.
Mariners RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-3, 5.31 ERA) and Heaney (9-9, 3.98 ERA) pitch on Saturday. Ramirez is 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA in six starts since coming off the disabled list after being sidelined by a strained right shoulder. Heaney struck out a career-high 12 in seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory against the Chicago White Sox last Sunday.