Angels 6, Mariners 2 (6 innings) – Cactus League 3/7/21
Jose Suarez courtesy of Getty Images

by BJ Martin, Angels Nation Staff  

Joe Maddon continues to have his players run aggressively on the bases. It’s a mindset going back to his earliest days as a manager and scout for the Angels in the early Eighties. 

After Jose Iglesias one-out single he’s moving on hit-and-run play that Taylor Ward hits to shortstop. They Mariners attempted 6-4-3 double play ends up with both Angels safe. 

“Playing like it’s 1985” in the words of Maddon. 

Luis Rengifo followed Ward to draw a walk. Loading the bases off Seattle reliever Drew Steckenrider. 

With his 21st pitch of the 4th inning, Steckenrider walks Phil Gosselin with the bases loading giving the Angels a 3-2 lead.  

One out with the bases loaded, and his pitcher having thrown 21 pitches in the inning, M’s manager Scott Servais calls it an inning. The Angels are forced to leave the field with the bases loaded and only one out. 

Such is Spring Training baseball in 2021. 

The Mariners will not be so fortunate when it comes to their showdowns with their division rivals in the regular season. 

The Angels defeated the Mariners 6-2 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Valley of the Sun. 

The ‘Brief Breakdown’: 

Pitching:  

After a clean 1-2-3 first inning, Barria had a 1-2 pitch to Ty France hit for a home run to deep center. The Panamanian righty would use a good mix of fastball and slider to get the next three batters out in order. Getting Jake Fraley looking to end the second inning. 

Barria is out of options and must pass through waivers if he does not make the Opening Day roster. He’s currently the seventh pitcher in a six-man rotation. He’s likely first man called upon if one of the current six cannot go on the mound. 

Felix Pena bounced back with a solid outing Sunday getting through the third inning with a walk and no runs scored. A nice second game after getting hit around in his first appearance last week. 

Ty Buttrey surrendered a run on two hits in the fourth. He benefited from outstanding defensive plays by third baseman Luis Rengifo and shortstop Jose Iglesias in his lone inning. Buttrey would ultimately earn the victory in Sunday’s game.

Jose Suarez pitched a perfect top of the fifth inning disposing Braden Bishop and Sam Haggerty via the strikeout. He returned to pitch the sixth and final inning allowing a leadoff single to Luis Liberato. He’d retire the next three batters striking out top prospect Julio Rodriguez and Jantzen Witte.  

Suarez would finish the day with four strikeouts across two innings. Earning a save closing the final two frames for the Halos.

Suarez is another intriguing candidate as an option out of the bullpen. Like fellow lefty Patrick Sandoval, both could find themselves members of the Salt Lake starting rotation this summer.  

Batters:  

Albert Pujols hit a nice double to the left-center gap to start off the bottom of the second inning. Pujols likely to share time at between first base and DH with Jared Walsh and Shohei Othani this season. 

Justin Upton followed Albert Pujols slicing a double down the right field line to drive in the first run of the game. 

Shohei Ohtani continues his hot hitting. Hitting a deep sac fly to center field that just missed being a home run in the bottom of the third. Ohtani would hit a solid line drive to left field in the 5th inning going 1-for-2 for the day. 

David Fletcher, Mike Trout, and Jose Iglesias all contributed to the Angels hit parade Sunday before departing for substitutions in the fifth inning. 

As latter inning substitutes, Scott Schebler and Matt Thaiss contributed with solid base hits. Jose Rojas driving in Schebler with an opposite field sacrifice fly to left field.

Schebler would come up again. Hitting a home run to left-center in the bottom of the sixth finishing the day 2-for-2. Battling Juan Lagares and Jon Jay for extra outfield spot.

Phil Gosselin came up during the extra half inning to hit a nice long solo home run to left field making the score 5-2. Gosselin battling with Barreto, Rengifo, and Thaiss for utility fielder position.  

Talking points:  

Angels’ prospect Packy Naughton was sidelined with a sore elbow last Saturday. Today the Angels reported that he’s doing much better and could be throwing again as soon as Monday.  

Joe Maddon stated during the Fox West in-game interview that the Angels will play a B-game in Tempe Monday morning prior to sending squad to play Brewers in Phoenix. 

Taylor Ward looked rather comfortable behind the plate today. Catching Jamie Barria, Felix Pena, and Ty Buttrey for the first four innings of the game. 

On Monday: Andrew Heaney will be on the mound the Angels as they travel to face the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Fields of Phoenix at 12:10 PM (PT.) Milwaukee is scheduled to oppose the Halos with Brandon Woodruff. The Monday afternoon ballgame will be broadcast for television on Fox Sports West and radio on KLAA. 

 

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