Mariners hold on to beat Angels 5-3 despite Ohtani blast

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — For the second straight night, Seattle manager Scott Servais was not going to let Mike Trout make an impact with runners on base. The ninth-inning decision worked, but it might result in some bad blood for awhile between the Mariners and Los Angeles Angels.

Trout was intentionally walked with two outs in the ninth after a second-pitch, 95 mph fastball from Erik Swanson nearly hit the three-time AL MVP in the head. Shohei Ohtani – who hit a monstrous home run earlier – came up with runners on first and second, but lined out to right fielder Taylor Trammell to end the game as the Mariners held on for a 5-3 victory Saturday night.

Trout, who rarely shows frustration, was visibly upset after the game. He took exception to the mound conference before the at-bat and that the first pitch was also inside, but not as wild as the next one.

“I get that you are trying to throw up and in, but not at the head,” Trout said. “If you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside. If you’re gonna hit me, hit me in the ribs, don’t hit me in the head. I don’t know if that was the intent, but anything at the head, you don’t do that.”

Servais declined to do a follow-up interview after Trout’s remarks while Swanson already left the clubhouse.

Trout, who had a double in the fifth inning, is batting .333 (9 for 27) with six home runs and 11 RBIs in seven games against the Mariners this season. After Sunday’s series finale, the teams play 11 more times, but not until early August.

Cal Raleigh had three hits and Kevin Padlo hit a two-run, bases-loaded single in the sixth inning for the Mariners, who have won a season-high five straight games.

Ohtani crushed a 462-foot homer off a 96.8 mph fastball from Logan Gilbert (8-3) in the third to tie it at 1. According to Statcast, the 118 mph exit velocity made it the hardest-hit HR of Ohtani’s five years in the major. It is the fourth longest of the AL MVPs 109 homers since he came stateside in 2018.

“It’s just another wild moment for him,” said Nevin of the Ohtani blast. “He just missed the last one. He hit it hard but it top-spinned on him. He certainly didn’t miss the home run though.”

Servais said the decision to put Ohtani at the plate in the ninth as the game-winning run was unconventional, but it ended up working.

“You can’t play scared. You’re gonna have to roll the dice once in a while,” Servais said. “I know a great hitter is coming up. It was a way better matchup for Swanson, and that’s what you’re looking at,”

Kurt Suzuki also had a solo shot in the fourth for the Angels, who have dropped four of five on their homestand. They’ve also lost two straight to the Mariners after taking four of five games last weekend in Seattle.

The Mariners would fall behind before rallying for three runs in the sixth. Angels’ third baseman Taylor Wade booted a grounder by Julio Rodriguez to load the bases with one out.

Eugenio Suarez was struck out by Archie Bradley (0-1) before he was relieved by Jose Quijada. Jesse Winker drew a walk to tie it before Padlo’s base hit to right put Seattle on top 4-2.

Pinch-hitter David MacKinnon had an RBI single to draw the Halos within a run in the sixth before the Mariners responded with Dylan Moore‘s sacrifice fly in the seventh.

FOR STARTERS

Gilbert, who is sixth in the AL with a 2.44 ERA, fell one out shy of recording his eighth straight quality start. The right-hander went 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts.

Angels’ starter Patrick Sandoval battled control problems throughout the night, but only allowed one run in five innings. The left-hander gave up eight hits but struck out six, including two with the bases loaded.

ELITE COMPANY

Julio Rodriguez went deep for the second straight night. The rookie made Sandoval pay for leaving a slider up in the zone with a solo shot to left two batters into the game to put Seattle up 1-0.

Rodriguez joins Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to homer in two straight games for the Mariners at 21 or younger. Julio Rodriguez, who has hit five of his 11 home runs in June, turned 21 this past December.

MORE TRAFFIC

The Mariners didn’t go down in order until the ninth inning, were 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base.

In the last two games, Seattle has stranded 28 and is 5 for 31 with runners in scoring position.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: 1B Ty France was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left elbow sprain. … 2B Adam Frazier got the night off.

UP NEXT

Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (4-7, 3.33 ERA) allowed two runs in seven innings to get the win last Tuesday in Oakland.

Angels: Nevin has not officially named a starter.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.