John Lackey made his second season debut, and wasn’t great. He allowed five runs, four earned, over five innings. But the Angels offense delivered 10 runs, and delivered Lackey his first win of 2009.
The Angels pounded out 15 hits, seven for extra bases. They left their pop-guns in Texas, and showed up in Seattle with a Howitzer. Kendry Morales hit two home runs, giving him eight on the season. Juan Rivera hit his second of the season. But perhaps the biggest hit of the game came from Torii Hunter. Trailing 4-2 in the fifth inning, Kendry Morales singled, and reached third on Howie Kendrick’s double. After a Chone Figgins strike out, Erick Aybar delivered an infield single, pulling the Angels to within a run. Bobby Abreu drew one of his three walks to load the bases. Torii Hunter followed with a double to deep right center field, clearing the bases and giving the Angels a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Kendrick showed signs of life with two hits. In all, the bottom third of the Angels order (Rivera, Morales, Kendrick) combined to go 7-14 with three homers, a double, seven runs, and five RBIs.
Lackey was knocked around for seven hits in his five innings, but showed better control than he did in Texas, walking none. He was a victim of poor defense from Mike Napoli in the second inning. With Kenji Johjima on third base and Franklin Gutierrez on second, Ronnie Cedeno laid down a safety squeeze. Johjima broke for the plate only after Napoli decided to throw to first. The throw sailed into foul territory, and two runs scored on the error. The Angels bullpen allowed one run in four innings of work. Darren Oliver allowed the run in his two innings. Jose Arrendondo was a little shaky in a scoreless eighth, and with the save out of reach, Justin Speier worked a scoreless ninth.
Thougts on the game:
- Great production out of the bottom of the order, and Howie Kendrick better hope this is the start of a warming trend. With Brandon Wood destroying PCL pitching, Kenrick’s bat has emerged as the most likely to be replaced.
- Mike Napoli had two hits, but he also struck out twice, and his error cost the Angels two runs. It wasn’t one of his better games, but the bottom of the order really picked him up.
- Tonight’s win was important. As well as Matt Palmer has pitched, the Mariners have the better pitcher going tomorrow in King Felix, so it was important to get one on the board tonight. Wednesday won’t be a picnic either if Eric Bedard is healthy.