Pujols HR, Suarez Wins in Debut, Angels Rout Mariners 13-3
SEATTLE (AP) — Jose Suarez showed the poise of a veteran in his major league debut.
The 21-year-old allowed three runs over 5 plus innings and got plenty of support from Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels offense to beat the Seattle Mariners 13-3 on Sunday.
"He was very calm," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "Which kind of goes along with his demeanor despite his young age."
Called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday night, Suarez (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits, and became the youngest pitcher to start for the Angels since Tyler Chatwood in 2011.
Suarez quickly found his footing in the first inning, setting down the Mariners in order. He worked through a two-run second then nearly put together four straight scoreless innings until Kyle Seager's solo home run with two outs in the sixth ended his debut.
"I didn't feel as nervous in the bullpen, but once I got out there and saw some of the hitters, it made it more real for me," Suarez said.
Suarez also had room to work with, as the Angels put together a seven-run second and five-run fifth, and finished with 15 hits.
Pujols hit his 643rd career homer and drove in five runs. Luis Rengifo hit his first career home run, a solo drive in the sixth that landed above the Hit It Here Cafe in left field. Mike Trout and David Fletcher each had three hits for Los Angeles and Pujols added a two-run double on a flyball the Mariners lost in the sun.
Marco Gonzales (5-6) was tagged for 10 runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He was the first pitcher in Mariners history to win five games before May, but is 0-6 with a 7.79 ERA in his last seven starts.
"The way I pitched is just unacceptable," Gonzales said. "I did not give my team a chance to win and I exposed our bullpen way too early. There's a lot of things I need to work on. First and foremost, I need to take accountability for that. I need to help this team win."
Much like Gonzales, the Mariners started the season strong at 13-2 and in first place in the AL West, but now sit at the bottom of the division standings at 25-37.
"I'm not going to point any fingers besides toward myself," Gonzales said. "I think it starts with the guys on the mound, it starts with the starting pitching. It hasn't been up to par. For us to go out and set the tone, I don't care how well we hit, we're not going to do what we want to do."
Pujols' 11th homer this year, a three-run drive, capped LA's seven-run second. He also went deep in Saturday's 6-3 victory.
Gonzales left with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, and reliever Connor Sadzeck's second pitch bounced past catcher Omar Narvaez, allowing Tommy La Stella to score from third.
David Fletcher walked to re-load the bases and Trout hit a two-run single. Seager's error at third base loaded the bases once more for the Angels and Pujols hit a high fly that eluded center fielder Mallex Smith in the sun and bounced over the wall.
Seager finished 2-for-3 with a double to go along with his first home run of the season. Seager has multiple hits in three of his nine games this season
CAN'T STOP THE BLEEDING
The Mariners have allowed 10 or more runs in 13 games this season, the most in the majors.
With the Angels traveling to Chicago for an interleague matchup against the Cubs on Monday, Suarez was sent down to Triple A Salt Lake following Sunday's victory to make room for an additional position player.
"He did really well, but we have six starters right now and we're going to a National League park and we need another position player," Ausmus said.
Angels: RHP John Curtiss was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday night to make room for Suarez. The Angels also requested unconditional release waivers on RHP Matt Ramsey, who had been designated for assignment.
Mariners: OF Braden Bishop was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to fill the roster spot of OF Jay Bruce, who was traded with cash to the Phillies for minor leaguer Jake Scheiner.
Angels: Trevor Cahill (2-5, 6.92) takes the mound for LA's interleague pit stop in Chicago against the Cubs on Monday. It's a make-up game for a snowout in April.
Mariners: The Mariners will start an opener when they face Houston on Monday.