ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Seattle Mariners got Dan Haren out of the game quickly and built a nice comfortable lead for Hisashi Iwakuma.
Iwakuma had his way with the Los Angeles Angels for seven innings and John Jaso homered for the second time in two games, helping the Mariners notch a 7-4 victory Saturday night.
The Mariners staked Iwakuma to a 7-0 lead just one night after teammate Felix Hernandez squandered a 5-0 cushion in a series-opening loss by the Mariners.
“Haren’s no different than any other pitcher – you want to get to him early and get to the bullpen,” said Mariners left fielder Trayvon Robinson, who had a pair of hits including an RBI single. “He’s a groundball pitcher who throws a lot of stuff out of the zone and tries to make you chase it.”
Jaso made it 4-0 in the third with his seventh homer of the season, a towering drive that landed about a dozen rows back in the elevated right-field seats.
It was the ninth consecutive start in which the three-time All-Star allowed a home run, the longest streak of Haren’s 10-year career. It began when the Colorado Rockies hit four against him on June 9 at Coors Field – all solo shots in Haren’s 11-5 victory.
“He got me out on the at-bat before on the same pitch, when I popped out,” Jaso said. “But it was up more than it was the next at-bat, and this time he dropped down a little bit. So I was able to get a little bit more extension on it.
“The pitch right before that, my swing was really long and my head was flying out. So I stepped out of the box, tried to reset my bearings and just tried to be short to the ball with two strikes.”
Iwakuma (3-3) allowed three runs and six hits in his seven-plus innings and struck out four in his seventh major league start.
The right-hander gave up his only runs on Vernon Wells’ RBI single in the fifth inning and a two-run homer by Wells in the eighth on his 86th and final pitch.
“The biggest thing we knew going in was that if he was effective down in the zone, it was going to be a long night,” Wells said. “And it was, for the most part, because he kept the ball down.”
The Mariners grabbed a 3-0 lead in the second. Miguel Olivo, who came in 0 for 15 against Haren, hit a bloop single to right to put runners at the corners after a walk to Mike Carp. Robinson followed Olivo’s hit with an RBI single, and another walk to No. 9 hitter Brendan Ryan loaded the bases before Dustin Ackley lined a 0-2 pitch to right-center for a two-run single.