MLB: Mariners look to ignite offense in opener vs. Angels

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Scott Servais could sense the disappointment.

“It happens, gang,” the Seattle Mariners’ manager said after a 4-0 loss to Houston on Thursday afternoon that prevented his club from completing a sweep of their American League West rivals. “We just beat the Houston Astros three out of four. That’s a pretty good series. And we will continue to try to focus on winning the next series. That’s what happens in baseball: You don’t win every game. But we are playing better. There’s still a long ways to go for us offensively, and we know that. You got to look forward to the weekend and score some runs.”

The division-leading Mariners will open a three-game series against the last-place Los Angeles Angels on Friday night in Seattle.

The Mariners managed just two hits Thursday in six innings against Astros rookie Spencer Arrighetti, whom they were facing for the first time.

“We wanted to get on top of him early,” Mariners infielder Dylan Moore said. “Trying to sweep these guys, it would’ve been huge. We had to make the adjustment pretty quick that he was controlling all his pitches, and he was pitching pretty well. We tried to make the adjustment as best we could, but he was making pitches.”

“We need better ABs in a row, keep it simple and score more than zero runs,” he continued. “This is the big leagues, and you have to make those adjustments on the fly.”

Seattle scored just nine runs on 21 hits in the four games against the Astros and struck out 46 times. They’ve fanned 10 or more times 38 times in 58 games and lead the majors with 594 strikeouts, on pace to break the MLB record of 1,654 set by the Minnesota Twins last season.

Yet largely because of their pitching, the Mariners are the lone team in the division with a winning record and have a three-game lead on the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers.

Mariners right-hander Bryan Woo (2-0, 1.66 ERA), who began the season on the injured list (elbow inflammation), is scheduled to make his fifth start of 2024 on Friday. He will face off against Angels righty Jose Soriano (2-5, 3.61).

Woo was 1-0 with a 2.20 ERA in three starts against Los Angeles as a rookie last season; Soriano was 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five relief appearances against the Mariners as a rookie in 2023.

The Angels lost 8-3 to the visiting New York Yankees on Thursday night despite Logan O’Hoppe hitting a home run for a second consecutive game and for the fourth time in the past eight.

Angels lefty Patrick Sandoval allowed just two runs on two hits in six innings, but one of those was Aaron Judge’s 275th career homer.

“One mistake pitch that he got to, probably shouldn’t have thrown it,” Sandoval said. “Logan wanted changeup and I should’ve thrown it. I didn’t have a lot of confidence or feel for it early. I had confidence in the sweeper, got him on it last time and just left it over when he hit it.”

It was the fifth loss in the past six games for the Angels, who are lacking star power after Shohei Ohtani left in free agency in the offseason and with Mike Trout sidelined after undergoing knee surgery earlier this month for a torn left meniscus.

–Field Level Media

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