ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons both came through in typically spectacular fashion during another win for the surging Los Angeles Angels.
Trout hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and Simmons made a spectacular tag at third base to complete a double play during the Los Angeles Angels’ fourth victory in five games, 5-4 over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.
Simmons made the latest jaw-dropping defensive play in a week full of gems by the Angels, who have standout fielders at most positions this season.
When Jean Segura tried to advance from first to third on Mitch Haniger’s grounder in the third inning, Simmons covered third base. The shortstop snagged Jefry Marte’s off-target throw and twisted in midair to apply a behind-the-back tag to the sliding Segura.
“I kind of wanted him to go to third, because I thought we would have a good chance if (Marte) makes a good throw,” Simmons said. “So as soon as he committed and he was going, I made sure I got there. I was like, ‘OK, we got him, we got him.’ Throw comes in a little high, I’m like, ‘Oh God. I’ve got to just catch it.’ So after I caught it, I was like, ‘Eh, I might as well just throw my glove down there and see what happens.'”
Segura was initially called safe before video replay revealed what the naked eye couldn’t process. Simmons said he made the tag blind, simply trying to get his glove low.
“I felt I touched him while he was still moving, but I couldn’t see if he did or not,” Simmons said. “I just tried to get (Angels manager) Mike (Scioscia) to take a look at it before they challenged, and fortunately we got the out.”
Mike Zunino drove in the tying run for Seattle earlier in the seventh with an RBI single off J.C. Ramirez (2-0), but the Mariners are off to a 1-5 start.
Yunel Escobar homered and doubled for the Angels. Danny Espinosa and Kole Calhoun had run-scoring singles.
Trout connected for a two-run shot off Evan Scribner (0-1), delivering yet another big hit for the Angels after a pregame ceremony recognizing his second AL MVP award in three years. Owner Arte Moreno presented Trout with a large commemorative ring.
“It’s tough there, because he’s the one guy that we don’t want to let beat us, and I gave him a pitch to hit there,” Scribner said. “Not a good spot.”
Trout also had an entertaining 14-pitch at-bat against Felix Hernandez in the first inning. The Mariners ace struck out Trout looking to conclude the longest at-bat in either player’s career.
“That was incredible,” Scioscia said. “(Trout) just missed some pitches, and Felix just painted on him for strike three. I think that’s what Mike’s about. Mike doesn’t give an inch at the plate.”
Hernandez has struck out Trout 26 times, more than any other batter in his career.
Hernandez yielded 10 hits over six innings on his 31st birthday, but remained winless in two starts this season. The start was the 51st of his career against Los Angeles, tying Catfish Hunter for the second-most starts against the Angels in baseball history.
CAM GOES FIVE
Segura, who had three hits, scored on Nelson Cruz’s sacrifice fly in the eighth, but Cam Bedrosian got two outs to escape the jam and then pitched the ninth for his second save.
Ricky Nolasco became the first Angels starter to complete six innings this season, recovering from Haniger’s first-inning homer to pitch six innings of four-hit ball.
Albert Pujols went 3 for 4 after a 1-for-20 start to his season. He doubled and scored on a second-inning single by Espinosa, who has six RBIs in six games since joining his hometown team.
Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 3.00 ERA) has a 2.83 career ERA against the Angels, but is 1-3 in his last six starts against Los Angeles.
Angels: Matt Shoemaker (0-0, 3.60 ERA) faces the Mariners for the first time since getting hit in the head with a line drive by Seattle’s Kyle Seager last September, ending his season.
More AP baseball: apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball