Mark Trumbo led off the ninth with a tiebreaking homer, and Hank Conger hit a tying homer in the seventh inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 12th win in 15 games, 4-3 over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night at Anaheim, Calif.
Erick Aybar hit a leadoff homer and Vernon Wells also connected for the Angels before Trumbo delivered Los Angeles’ first game-ending homer of the season against David Pauley (5-2), who had just escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth.
Mike Trout went 0 for 3 in the prized Los Angeles prospect’s major league debut, but the 19-year-old made a spectacular sprinting catch to end Seattle’s ninth inning. The Angels promoted Trout for the final three games before the All-Star break.
Greg Halman had two hits for the Mariners, who have lost 14 of their past 16 games at Angel Stadium.
All-Star selection Jordan Walden (2-2) pitched the ninth for Los Angeles.
Blake Beavan gave up Aybar’s homer on his second pitch before settling down for another solid effort in his second major league start for the Mariners, yielding six hits and two runs while pitching into the seventh inning. Beavan left with a 3-2 lead, but reliever Jamey Wright immediately gave up Conger’s fifth homer.
Los Angeles loaded the bases in the eighth on two walks and Wells’ single, but Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo both failed to get a run home, producing meek grounders against Pauley. The Angels dropped to a dismal 10 for 53 with the bases loaded this season.
Ervin Santana allowed six hits and three runs over seven innings for the Angels. The veteran has pitched well since June, but has won just one of his past eight starts.
The Anaheim crowd was eager for its first official look at Trout, widely considered baseball’s top prospect. He’s the youngest player to debut in the majors since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez in 2005, and the youngest Angels player in 40 years.
Trout has torn through the low minors since the Angels picked the Millville, N.J., native in the first round in 2009, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Trout’s callup might not last through next week, when center fielder Peter Bourjos is expected to return from a strained right hamstring. Bourjos was injured in the eighth inning Thursday night.
After a warm ovation, Trout flied out to right in his first major league at-bat in the second inning. After grounding out in the fifth, he lined out to center field in the seventh.
But Trout’s defense is Scioscia’s favorite attribute. Franklin Gutierrez hit a powerful drive into the right-center gap for Seattle with two outs in the ninth, but Trout somehow sprinted under the ball as it tailed away from him at the wall.
Aybar found the short right-field porch at Angel Stadium for the shortstop’s sixth homer of the season and the third leadoff homer of his career.
After Seattle went ahead on Ichiro Suzuki’s RBI groundout and Justin Smoak’s sacrifice fly to deep center, Wells evened it at 2 in the fourth inning with his sixth homer in 12 games, a shot down the left-field line.
Halman doubled off the low left-field wall in the fifth inning, missing a homer by a few inches, and eventually scored the Mariners’ go-ahead run on Brendan Ryan’s sacrifice fly.