SEATTLE — Mike Trout had a rather miserable afternoon at the plate until the Seattle Mariners made the mistakes of pitching to him in extra innings.
The three-time MVP hit a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Saturday in the opening game of a doubleheader.
Trout hit his 50th career homer against Seattle and 31st at T-Mobile Park on a 1-1 pitch from Diego Castillo (3-1). Trout had struck out three times earlier in the game. Instead of putting him base with an intentional walk, Trout hit his 19th long ball of the season.
“You can’t go up to the box and think that. I’m thinking hit the whole time and then if they tell you to go to first base you go to first base,” Trout said “You can’t put that mentality or that comment in your head. Then you’re up there second guessing.”
Seattle’s bullpen had retired 13 straight batters before Trout’s homer. Castillo had not allowed a run in his past nine appearances. And Shohei Ohtani waited on deck.
All that played into the decision of Seattle manager Scott Servais to pitch to Trout.
“Those are decisions you have to make. I get paid to make those decisions. I need to be right more than I’m wrong,” Servais said. “But I’ve got to give him credit. He hit the ball out of the ballpark. He just didn’t get a hit.”
Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said he thought the pitch from Castillo was in a good location. Trout is just that talented.
“He’s a pretty darn good reliever. He made some good pitches before that,” Nevin said. “It was actually a pretty good pitch. Mike just went out and got it.”
Raisel Iglesias (2-4) pitched a perfect ninth inning for the Angels and José Quijada worked the 10th to earn the save.
It was the opener of a rare doubleheader in Seattle, just the fourth since T-Mobile Park opened in 1999 and the first nine-inning twinbill since 2007. Seattle played a doubleheader against Oakland during the pandemic shortened 2020 season but both games were seven innings.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead on Dylan Moore’s home run in the third inning and pulled even at 2 in the seventh on Julio Rodríguez’s RBI single.
Los Angeles got a two-run double from Kurt Suzuki with two outs in the fourth inning that just eluded a diving attempt by Moore in left field.
Seattle will lament the missed chances it had earlier in the game.
Rodríguez’s RBI single came on an 0-2 pitch from Archie Bradley, just his second hit all season on an 0-2 pitch. But Seattle failed to take the lead as Ty France struck out and J.P. Crawford grounded out with the go-ahead run at third.
Jesse Winker and Adam Frazier each singled with one out off Ryan Tepera in the eighth, but Winker was stranded at third.
Angels starter Patrick Sandoval allowed one run and four hits over six innings. He’s allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last six starts.
Seattle’s Chris Flexen went 5.1 innings allowing two runs on six hits.
HONORING THE PAST
Seattle wore uniforms from the 1946 Seattle Steelheads for the opening game of the doubleheader, honoring the former Negro League franchise.
Angels: 1B Jared Walsh was back in the lineup for the first game after feeling ill on Friday. Nevin said 1B David MacKinnon, who was with the team from Triple-A Salt Lake, was going to start the second game.
Mariners: DH Justin Upton was back in the lineup a night after a scary moment where he was hit in the head. Servais said he checked with Upton on Saturday morning and said the slugger felt ready to play.