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Mariners six-run first inning the difference maker in win over Angels

8/5 vs LAA by TOM HAYDEN

SAFECO FIELD, SEATTLE, WA. ----

PHOTO FROM - seattlepi.com

When you're down 3-0 in the first inning, it's certainly not the best of feelings, but on Friday night in Seattle, the Mariners were not alarmed of the early deficit against the LA Angels. Why? Because it was in the bottom of the first inning in which the Mariners answered by putting up 6 runs on LAA RHP Tim Lincecum, a University of Washington alum. The Mariners putting up 6 runs in the first frame of a game hasn't happened since 2013, when they did so against the New York Yankees. After taking a 6-3 lead over Los Angeles, the Mariners held the lead for the rest of this one as RHP Felix Hernandez regained command after the tough first inning. With the win, the Mariners have advanced to a W-L record of 55-53 on the season, only 7.0 games behind the Texas Rangers, and only 1.0 game behind the Houston Astros in the American League Western division standings. The Mariners are 5.0 games back in the American League race for the Wild Card.

Offensively on Friday night at Safeco Field, the Mariners put up an impressive 6 runs on 14 hits. Everyone in the starting lineup, other than Kyle Seager, surprisingly, put the bat on the baseball for at least one hit in this one. LF Nori Aoki (.253 AVG) who has been hitting well as of late, went 3-for-5 on the night while scoring 1 run for Seattle. RF Seth Smith (.265 AVG) went 2-for-3 at the plate, also scoring a Mariners' run. 1B Adam Lind (.234 AVG) went 3-for-4 at the plate on Friday night with an RBI and a run scored. The RBI marks Lind's 45th of the season. CF Leonys Martin (.245 AVG) went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of hits and an RBI. Martin's RBI in this one was for his 33rd of the season. It was C Mike Zunino (.268 AVG) who connected for a 3-run home run in this one, a BLAST to left off of Lincecum as a part of Seattle's 6-run first inning. The HR was Zunino's sixth of the season, and he has only appeared in 15 games this season so far for the Mariners. The 3 RBI from the homer now gives Zunino 10 on the season. Also contributing offensively on Friday night for the M's was 2B Robinson Canó (.296 AVG) who went 1-for-5 at the plate notching his 69th RBI on the season, a new team high. SS Shawn O'Malley (.244 AVG) and DH Nelson Cruz (.279 AVG) each had a hit in this one.

On the mound on Friday night, RHP Felix Hernandez made his 14th start of the season, and it was a good one for him. Despite giving up a 3-run home run to LAA All-Star CF Mike Trout in the top of the first inning, his command was certainly there. Hernandez went 8.0 innings giving up 4 runs on 3 hits (all runs earned) while walking only 3 and striking out 6 Angels. His only mistakes were giving up the 2 homers. The King, like he does most of the time, earned himself a win for his 6th of the season. Felix now has a winning W-L record of 6-4 on the season with a decent ERA of 3.55 in 88.2 innings pitched! Relieving the King on Friday night was RHP closer Edwin "Sugar" Diaz (1.86 ERA). This kid is incredible! He earned his third save on Friday night by striking out 3 Angels in the top of the ninth inning! In just 28.0 innings pitched this season, Diaz has struck out a whopping 56 batters, and his WHIP is a 1.21! Impressive, to say the least.

WHAT'S NEXT? :

The Mariners will look to grab hold of a series victory as they host these 49-60 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim again on Saturday night at Safeco Field for Game 2 in "Ken Griffey Jr. # 24 Retirement night". RHP Taijuan Walker (4-7, 4.38 ERA) will make his first start in just over a month (last start- 7/5 at HOU) due to being on the 15-day DL with a foot tendinitis. This start will be Walker's 17th of the season for Seattle. Walker and the M's are set and ready to take on LAA LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 2.04 ERA). Be sure to catch all of the Game two action on ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio! First pitch start time- 6:10 PM PAC, 9:10 PM ET.

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.

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