Mariners 6, Angels 4
“It shocked me,” Snelling said. “I didn’t really see it, I just heard it.”
Snelling hit two of Seattle’s four solo homers off Angels rookie Jered Weaver in the Mariners’ 6-4 win on Tuesday night that took a scary and somber turn in the eighth inning.
With one out, Soriano was hit behind the right ear by Vladimir Guerrero’s line drive. The sound of the ball connecting with Soriano’s head was audible throughout the stadium, and the reliever immediately crumpled to the ground as the ball landed near the Angels’ dugout on the third-base side.
Soriano was attended to by the Mariners’ training staff and medics for several minutes before being put on a backboard and carted off the field. He never lost consciousness, sustained a concussion and was transported to nearby Harborview Medical Center where he was being held overnight for observation.
Soriano had an X-ray and CT scan when he arrived at the hospital.
“The preliminary tests right now are reassuring. We don’t feel it’s anything very serious,” team physician Dr. Edward Khalfayan said.
Manager Mike Hargrove and pitching coach Rafael Chaves left almost immediately for the hospital and were unavailable for comment. Guerrero released a statement through the team expressing his hope that Soriano is OK.
“We he got word that he didn’t lose consciousness,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said “Vlad was relieved, but it is naturally something that is going to shake you up,”
Before Soriano was injured, the Mariners were enjoying their season-high sixth straight win, handing Weaver his worst outing of the season.
Weaver (9-2) gave up five runs and nine hits in just 4 2-3 innings. The rookie tied an AL record by winning his first nine career decisions—including a pair of impressive wins over the Mariners—but has now dropped two straight. Weaver lost to Boston last Thursday, despite surrendering only one earned run on a solo homer by David Ortiz.
Ichiro Suzuki hit his 20th career leadoff homer on Weaver’s second pitch, and Snelling followed three pitches later with his first homer of the season. Snelling hit a solo shot in the fourth to right field for his first career multihomer game.
It was Suzuki’s seventh home run of the season, but his third time leading off with one.
“They got me a couple of times and I think Snelling ended up winning the home run derby,” Weaver said.
Raul Ibanez lined an RBI double in the first and hit his 26th homer in the third inning, giving him a career-high 104 RBIs. His previous high of 103 came in 2002 with Kansas City.
It was the fourth time the Mariners hit at least four homers. After an 0-11 road trip that dropped them out of contention in the AL West, Seattle has won seven of eight on its homestand.
“Some pitches he didn’t get away with, made some mistakes and those guys got some balls to drive,” Scioscia said.
Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn (8-12) pitched six strong innings, but ran into trouble in the seventh when he allowed consecutive homers to Garret Anderson and Robb Quinlan. Washburn escaped the inning without further damage and won consecutive decisions for the first time this season. Washburn allowed six hits and struck out four in beating his former club for the third time.
Washburn was already in the clubhouse when Soriano took over in the eighth and saw the reliever get hit on television.
“No question, this is the worst I’ve ever felt after a win,” Washburn said. “I don’t really even remember pitching. I’m just worried about Rafael.”
Guerrero later scored in the eighth on Anderson’s RBI double, but closer J.J. Putz recorded the final five outs for his 28th save in 33 chances.
“It’s the scariest thing in sports, no doubt about it,” Putz said of Soriano’s injury. “When it does happen, it’s nauseating.”
The Angels’ defense didn’t help either, committing three errors that increased their AL-leading total to 104. Third baseman Maicer Izturis had two errors, and his throwing error with two out in the sixth allowed Ibanez to score from second.
Suzuki also singled in the second for his 400th career multihit game. It’s the most of any player since 2001—his rookie year. … Quinlan extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the fifth. … With rain moving in, the roof at Safeco Field closed just as the first pitch was thrown, the 10th time this season the retractable roof has been closed either before or during a game.