LA Angels 5, Seattle 1
When: 10:07 PM ET, Friday, April 7, 2017
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California
Chris Segal, 1B -
Paul Emmel, 2B -
Brian O'Nora, 3B -
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It had been awhile since Jesse Chavez took the mound when the infield dirt was smooth and the batter's box was still intact.
Nineteen months, in fact, since Chavez last started a major-league game, having been relegated to bullpen duty all of last season. But the right-hander earned a spot in the Los Angeles rotation out of spring training, and carried the momentum into his first start of the season, getting the victory in the Angels' 5-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
"It means a lot," said Chavez, who gave up one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. "Showing the faith that they put in me and then it was up to me to do my job and do what they wanted, just answer each call. There was a lot of competition in spring training and there still is throughout the year. And it's my job to keep that trust."
Chavez, who signed with the Angels as a free agent after pitching out of the bullpen last year with Toronto and the Los Angeles Dodgers, shut out the Mariners through five innings and got the first two outs in the sixth. But then he gave up three consecutive singles, the last an RBI single by Nelson Cruz, that spelled the end of the night for Chavez.
What happened in the sixth? Chavez said his pitches were working so well for him throughout the night that he became a little overwhelmed by his options.
"I think I got a little confused with what to throw, because we had everything working," Chavez said. "But you got to tip your hat to those guys."
Chavez got plenty of support, both from the bullpen and the offense. Cameron Maybin homered to lead off the sixth, increasing the Angels' lead from 2-1 to 3-1. And Kole Calhoun's two-run homer in the seventh made it 5-1.
For Maybin, another Angels newcomer, his first home run with his new team off Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo (0-1) wasn't necessary to prove himself to his new teammates.
"No, not really, that's a question you guys like to ask," Maybin said. "I'm always gonna say no. I've been playing baseball since I was 3. The diamond's still the same, just a few more people (in the stands)."
Four Angels relievers -- Jose Alvarez, Bud Norris, Andrew Bailey and Blake Parker -- combined to shut down Seattle for the final 3 1/3 innings. The key part of the game came in the top of the seventh, the Angels clinging to a 3-1 lead, when Norris gave up a single and hit a batter to start the inning, putting the potential tying runs on base.
But Norris struck out Mike Zunino and got consecutive groundball forceouts on the next two hitters to end the threat.
The Mariners' struggles on offense to start the season continued, as they've scored a total of nine runs in their first five games, four of them losses. But Mariners manager Scott Servais said he isn't concerned.
"We put a little comeback together in the sixth, but not enough," Servais said. "We've got to do more, the strikeouts are in the way as well, we're not finishing at-bats. We've got to get better, we are a better club and we will score more runs, but right now we're struggling with that."
Gallardo seemed to be in trouble all night, as the Angels had at least one baserunner in all but one inning against him. Servais, though, said he saw some good in his right-hander.
"I thought his stuff was very good," he said. "His fastball was crisp, had some good life to it. He threw some good breaking balls. He was behind in the count in some innings, but kind of navigated his way through trouble. I was happy with the way he threw the ball, he gave us a chance."
NOTES: Angels RHP Garrett Richards was placed on the 10-day disabled list after being diagnosed with a strained right biceps. He left his start Wednesday against Oakland after 4 2/3 scoreless innings after feeling "cramping" in his arm. An MRI revealed no issues with his elbow, which was deemed healed with stem cell therapy after he suffered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament last year. "It's the best thing we could have hoped for," Richards said. He is eligible to be activated April 16. ... Mariners OF Guillermo Heredia got his first start of the season, replacing struggling CF Leonys Martin, who went 1-for-16 in Seattle's first four games. Heredia started in left field, moving OF Jarrod Dyson from left to center. Heredia went 0-for-3.
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