ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Wade Miley overcame his first-inning struggles. The same can’t be said for Matt Shoemaker.
Miley bounced back after a shaky first inning that included a home by slumping Albert Pujols to post his first victory in a Mariners uniform, helping Seattle beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-4 on Sunday.
Miley allowed three runs in the first after his teammates staked him to a 4-0 lead. He went on to work 7 1/3 innings with four runs and six hits allowed.
“I was getting a little frustrated with myself because I wasn’t executing my pitches. So I just tried to stop thinking a little bit after that, and I was able to establish a rhythm,” Miley said. “I started throwing down in the zone and they were hitting it at people.”
Miley (1-2), obtained in a trade with Boston in December, allowed one hit after Pujols’ two-out single in the third — an eighth-inning homer by Yunel Escobar on his 98th and final pitch.
Kyle Seager, Leonys Martin and Seth Smith hit home runs for the Mariners. But none of them made as much noise as the one by Pujols, who ended a career-worst 0-for-26 skid with the 563rd homer of his career to tie Reggie Jackson for 13th place on the career list.
“Everybody knows what Reggie has done and what an ambassador he is for this game. So it’s a great milestone to accomplish,” Pujols said. “I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting a call from him tonight or tomorrow from him, because he always calls me whenever something like that happens. When I hit those three homers in that World Series game, he called me the next day to congratulate me.”
Pujols’ homer was his first hit since his two-run shot on April 17 at Minnesota. It made Miley the 363rd pitcher the three-time NL MVP has homered against in the regular season during his 16-year career. Jackson homered off 306 pitchers, not counting the postseason.
“It’s one of those things at the end of my career that I’ll look at it,” Pujols said. “But it’s hard for me now because that’s not the kind of guy that I am. My thing is not about what I’ve accomplished in this game, but putting my team first. So I try to stay focused on what I need to do and what’s in front of me, not what I’ve done — because what’s done is done.”
Shoemaker (1-3) was charged with seven runs, six hits and three walks in three-plus innings. The right-hander has surrendered 27 home runs in his 17 big league losses with an 8.57 ERA — compared to eight homers in his 24 victories with a 1.74 ERA.
“It was one of those really bad days,” Shoemaker said. “The pitches were up — and more importantly, I was behind in the count again. I was in a lot of hitter’s counts. You may be the best pitcher, but if you’re pitching in hitters’ counts, they’re a lot more comfortable.”
Shoemaker threw 32 of his 73 pitches in the first inning, when Seager hit his third homer.
The Angels responded with three runs in the bottom half, with Miley throwing 34 pitches. Mike Trout singled with two out and scored on Pujols’ homer to left-center. Kole Calhoun, the only left-handed hitter in the Angels’ starting lineup, then walked and came all the way around on a double to right-center by Geovany Soto.
Shoemaker failed to retire any of the four batters he faced in the fourth inning and Seattle extended its lead to 7-3. Martin hit a two-run homer, and another run scored on Smith’s double-play grounder.
Smith hit a two-run homer in the ninth against Cory Rasmus.
Mariners: Seager has three hits in 16 career at-bats against Shoemaker, but two of the hits have been home runs. … Miley gave up only one run over 15 innings in his other two starts against the Angels, including seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball in a no-decision last July 17 in Anaheim.
Angels: The Angels committed three errors, raising their season total to 11 in 19 games. … Two-time Gold Glove SS Andrelton Simmons committed his first error of the season in the first inning when he fielded Cruz’s ball and made an off-balance throw past second base trying for a force.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (1-0) opposes Houston’s Doug Fister on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Safeco Field.
Angels: Garrett Richards (0-3) matches up against Ian Kennedy on Monday night in the opener of a three-game set with the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals.