Mariners 8, Angels 4
“I haven’t done much off him,” said Boone, who was 3-for-15 without a homer and with only one RBI against Appier. “I’ve had trouble picking up the ball. So this is a good feeling.”
Boone’s 19th homer of the season came in the fifth inning and Ichiro Suzuki hit two solo homers for Seattle, which improved its major league-leading record to 47-22.
Suzuki takes a lot of pride in his power although he’s been primarily a singles hitter in his three seasons with the Mariners. In Japan’s Pacific League in 1995, he had a career-best 25 home runs.
“These didn’t happen by accident,” said Suzuki, who was asked if he felt lucky to hit two home runs. “So using the expression of ‘lucky’ is not appropriate.”
Brad Fullmer, Darin Erstad, Garret Anderson and Tim Salmon hit solo homers off Ryan Franklin (6-4), who leads the AL for the most homers allowed at 18. The four homers off Franklin were a career most.
“We had a lead and I’m not going to try to fall behind guys or walk guys. I’m just going to go right after them,” Franklin said. “Tonight Safeco Field was a hitter’s park.”
The World Series champion Angels fell a season-worst 12 1/2 games back of the Mariners in the AL West.
Boone hit his first grand slam of the season and the fourth of his career on the first pitch by Kevin Appier (4-4) after the Mariners loaded the bases on singles by Jeff Cirillo and Suzuki, and a walk to Carlos Guillen. Boone is second in the AL in homers and fourth in the league with 58 RBIs.
Boone hit the first pitch, a fastball, from Appier 415 feet to center.
“He throws me a lot of breaking balls,” Boone said. “I just noticed that inning he was throwing me a lot more fastballs than he was throwing the whole game. So I said, ‘If he throws me a fastball, I don’t want to miss that one.’ And I hit it good.”
Appier said he didn’t get the fastball where he wanted to get it.
“Boone’s pitch was basically on the corner, but it sailed up and he juiced it,” Appier said.
Suzuki went 4-for-4 to raise his batting average to .347, second in the AL, and extend his hitting streak to 13 games. He had a career-high 23-game hitting streak as a rookie in 2000.
Suzuki homered to lead off the first and added another solo shot in the third for his second career two-homer game. He has seven homers this season after hitting eight in each of his first two years with the Mariners.
“Look at my body,” Ichiro replied when asked if he was a slugger, too.
Appier said Suzuki was the difference in the game.
“He shouldn’t have played today,” Appier said. “It wasn’t fair.”
Mariners manager Bob Melvin was asked which player he liked better: Suzuki or Boone.
“I like ‘em both,” Melvin replied with a smile. “Ichiro was unbelievable tonight. When he has a game like that, you’re amazed watching him. And Boonie has a way of doing that. That’s a pretty good pop out there to center field.”
Franklin allowed four runs and six hits in eight innings.
“Ichiro told me after he hit the homers those were for me,” Franklin said. “So I like him better. Boone just hits them.”
Appier went six innings and gave up three homers in a game for the second time this season. He’s allowed 11 of his 14 homers on the road. He allowed sixruns, five hits and three walks.
Suzuki hit his eighth career leadoff homers and second this season. He also did it May 17 at Detroit. Suzuki has 11 four-hit games in his career, including four this year. … The Mariners have scored 14 runs in the first two games of the series after scoring only 10 runs in the first six games of their homestand against Montreal and Atlanta. … Angels starters are 26-29 and have a 5.01 ERA this season. … Anaheim’s Troy Glaus is in an 0-for-24 hitting slump to drop his average to .271. He leads the AL All-Star voting at thirdbase.