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Sports >  Seattle Mariners

Angels have heavenly time with Ljay Newsome on mound, turn early lead into easy victory vs. Mariners

UPDATED: Tue., May 4, 2021

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani, left, takes off for second base on a stolen base attempt as Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Ljay Newsome throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Seattle. Ohtani was safe on the steal.  (Associated Press)
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani, left, takes off for second base on a stolen base attempt as Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Ljay Newsome throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Seattle. Ohtani was safe on the steal. (Associated Press)
By Ryan Divish Seattle Times

SEATTLE – The pitcher the Mariners like to call the “quiet assassin” found nothing but loud contact against the Los Angeles Angels, and the resulting timbre was a resonating defeat.

Young right-hander Ljay Newsome, who was making his first start of the season in place of injured lefty Nick Margevicius, who was inserted into Seattle’s six-man rotation as a replacement for the injured James Paxton, suffered through the worst start of his brief MLB career and ending the Mariners’ hopes for a victory before the sun could even set Saturday evening in the Puget Sound.

Newsome barely made it through two innings, giving up eight runs on seven hits, including three home runs in what would eventually be a 10-5 loss to the Angels that wasn’t that close.

Los Angeles banged out 13 hits, and clubbed a total of four homers to even the three-game series at one apiece.

With a relatively straight fastball that averages around 90-92 mph, Newsome doesn’t have the luxury of weathering wandering command or missing locations. It’s why most scouts and projections classify him as a long reliever/spot starter at his peak and believing he’s a “Quad A” pitcher, which means good at the Triple-A level but not good enough for consistent success at the MLB level.

Regardless of labels, the Mariners don’t have much for choices in the upper levels of the organization to find a replacement beyond top pitching prospect Logan Gilbert. And the Mariners are being cautious with his buildup in the minor leagues before making his MLB debut some time this season.

After striking out David Fletcher to start the game, Newsome walked Shohei Ohtani and left a 2-2 fastball over the middle of the plate to the absolute wrong hitter. Mike Trout, who came into the game with a .425/.523/.781 slash line with eight doubles, six homers, 14 RBIs, 14 walks and 23 strikeouts in 21 game this, crushed it over the wall in center for his seventh homer of the season.

It was Trout’s 47th homer in his 167th game vs. the Mariners, while pushing his RBI total in those games to 121. It was his 28th homer in 83 games at T-Mobile Park.

With two outs in the inning, Jared Walsh cracked a solo homer to left field that made it 3-0.

Newsome’s start went from bad to over in the second.

He gave up two singles to start the inning. And with one out and the bases loaded, thanks to an intentional walk of Trout, Anthony Rendon cleared the bases with a double to deep left-center that made it 6-0. Walsh made it two homers in two plate appearances off Newsome, hammering a first-pitch fastball over the wall in right for a two-run homer to make it 8-0.

From there, the Mariners bullpen had to piece together the final six innings.

Robert Dugger pitched three innings, giving up two hits, including a two-run homer to Rendon.

The Mariners offense did little against Angels starter Griffin Canning, who pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. He threw 93 pitches with 61 strikes, including 23 pitches that were swings and misses.

The Mariners only run against Canning came on an RBI double from J.P. Crawford in the third inning.

The Mariners added on two more runs in the eighth inning on a two-run single from Dylan Moore. In the ninth inning, Mitch Haniger smashed a two-run homer to deep left-center to make it 10-5. It was Haniger’s seventh homer. He has homered in back-to-back games after missing the final two games of the previous series in Houston.

Mills makes MLB debut

Former Gonzaga standout Wyatt Mills made his MLB debut in a memorable eighth inning for the Mariners.

The right-hander sat down the Angels in order, including a groundout to Mills and a pair of lineouts.

Born and raised in Spokane, Mills blossomed into a standout pitcher at Gonzaga. The Mariners selected him in the third round of the 2017 draft as a senior.

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