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Nelson Cruz homers twice to guide first-place Mariners over Angels

UPDATED: Mon., June 11, 2018, 10:38 p.m.

Seattle’s Nelson Cruz hits a solo home run during the fourth inning Monday against the Los Angeles Angels in Seattle. It was his second homer of the game. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Seattle’s Nelson Cruz hits a solo home run during the fourth inning Monday against the Los Angeles Angels in Seattle. It was his second homer of the game. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

SEATTLE – Nelson Cruz homered twice and the surprising Seattle Mariners overcame Mike Trout’s two home runs to beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 on Monday night.

Ryon Healy hit a two-run shot for the Mariners, who chased Andrew Heaney early and won for the ninth time in 11 games. Seattle sits atop the A.L. West by a half-game over the World Series champion Houston Astros.

Trout tied Boston slugger J.D. Martinez for the major league lead with 21 homers. Albert Pujols also went deep for the Angels.

Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc (2-0) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings. He loaded the bases in the fifth but struck out Justin Upton to escape unscathed.

Cruz homered leading off the fourth. Kyle Seager followed with a single and Ryon Healy launched a drive over the left-field fence to give the Mariners a 5-2 lead.

Trout cut the margin to two with his second homer of the game, but Edwin Diaz pitched a clean ninth for his major league-best 24th save.

Trout and Pujols homered in the first before Cruz tied it in the bottom half with a two-run shot to center.

Heaney was shaky after throwing a one-hit shutout against Kansas City in his previous start – on his 27th birthday, no less. This time, the left-hander was tagged for five runs and seven hits in three-plus innings.

Roster move

Los Angeles recalled OF Jabari Blash from Triple-A Salt Lake and optioned OF Michael Hermosillo to its top farm team. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he wanted the right-handed-hitting Blash in the lineup to face Seattle lefties LeBlanc and Marco Gonzales. Blash was hitting .324 with 18 homers for Salt Lake this season.

Trainer’s room

Angels: 1B Jefry Marte was lifted for pinch-hitter Jose Miguel Fernandez in the fourth after bruising his left wrist in a collision with Dee Gordon at first base. … Scioscia said SS Andrelton Simmons (ankle) is throwing and hitting off a tee, but not running yet. … P/OF Shohei Ohtani began daily therapy on his right elbow UCL sprain Sunday and will be re-evaluated in about three weeks, Scioscia said.

Mariners: RHP Nick Vincent (groin) threw a bullpen and will head out on a rehabilitation assignment later this week, according to manager Scott Servais. … C Chris Herrmann (oblique) took on-field batting practice and is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this week. … RHP Juan Nicascio (knee) received a cortisone shot in his knee and played catch.

Up next

Angels: Jaime Barria (5-1) will be recalled from Triple-A to face Seattle on Tuesday. The 21-year-old right-hander has a 2.48 ERA in seven big league starts this season and will make his first career start against the Mariners.

Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (6-3) will make his 14th start of the season and second against the Angels. He’s 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA, 24 strikeouts and two walks in his last six outings.


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Sports >  Seattle Mariners

Matt Calkins: Are the Mariners in fact building for a brighter future as they dismantle 2018 roster?

UPDATED: 10:04 p.m.

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