SEATTLE (AP) - During their surge to get back near the top of the AL West, hitting has not been the problem for the Los Angeles Angels.
“He just put the ball into some gray areas and we didn’t square it up very well,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Los Angeles is 20-12 over its past 32 games in moving into second place in the division. Only twice during that stretch have the Angels been held to one run or less, including the gem tossed by Young.
Young (4-2) kept the Angels without a hit until Kole Calhoun’s single with one out in the sixth inning. An inning later, Pujols hit his 506th career home run, pulling within three of Gary Sheffield for 24th on baseball’s all-time homer list.
Young lasted only two more batters after Pujols’ homer, getting pulled after issuing a walk to Raul Ibanez. He struck out five and walked three.
The three total hits for the Angels were tied for their fewest in any game this season. They were also held to three hits by the Mariners on April 2.
“He did a good job changing eye level, changing planes and being deceptive,” Angels catcher Hank Conger said. “He played his slider very well off his fastball which made him very effective today.”
After manager Lloyd McClendon lamented Seattle’s production following losses over the weekend to Houston, the Mariners responded with five runs in the first two innings off Tyler Skaggs (4-2). Seattle scored three unearned runs with two outs in the second.
“That’s just part of the game sometimes where you take advantage of a pitch over the plate,” Cano said. “Sometimes there are games where they throw you that same pitch and you foul it off. … We took advantage and that’s what we want. Those are the little things you want to do.”
The top three hitters in Seattle’s order did the damage against Skaggs. James Jones scored twice, and Michael Saunders tripled, singled and scored two runs.
Cano singled in each of his first three at-bats a day after his streak of reaching base ended at 31 games. Skaggs didn’t help himself by throwing to the wrong player covering first base on Saunders’ bunt single in the first inning. Seattle also stole three bases in the second on Skaggs.
“After the second inning I started working down in the zone,” Skaggs said. “The biggest thing was starting to throw first pitch strikes. That is huge. Getting behind the count is never good to anybody.”