Angels look to stop losing streak against Mariners, Gonzales

Field Level Media

Seattle Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales will try to continue his hot start to the season, and maintain his recent dominance against the Los Angeles Angels, when the teams meet in the second game of their four-game series on Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.

Gonzales (4-0, 3.19) is the first pitcher for Seattle to win his first four starts of the season since Rick Honeycutt in 1980.

One of those wins came against the visiting Angels on April 2, when Gonzales allowed one run and four hits over 8 1/3 inning in the 2-1 victory.

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Gonzales also went 3-0 in six starts against the Angels last season with a 3.34 ERA.

The chance to become the first pitcher in the majors to go to 5-0 is just a side note for Gonzales, who's more interested in the team's success.

"I love that we are out swinging bats," he said after his most recent outing. "Run support, I think that's the story to the start of the season. It's pretty comforting taking the mound when you know how our guys are swinging it."

Some Angels have done very well at the plate against Gonzales, while others have struggled.

Angels center fielder Mike Trout is 9-for-20 with a home run and three doubles in his career against Gonzales, and shortstop Andrelton Simmons is 9-for-22.

Albert Pujols is 2-for-20 and Kole Calhoun is 1-for-16, however.

Trout is expected to return to center field after serving as designated hitter the past four games since returning from a three-game absence because of a groin strain.

Pujols had two RBIs on Thursday night as the Angels nearly rallied from an eight-run deficit to win, which would have tied a franchise record. The 39-year-old Pujols needs four RBIs for 1,995 in his career, which would tie Lou Gehrig for fifth on the all-time list.

Los Angeles was down 10-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but scored seven runs in the inning and another in the eighth to tie the game at 10-10.

Jay Bruce hit an RBI pinch-hit single in the ninth, and the Mariners held on for an 11-10 victory to end a six-game losing streak.

Felix Pena (0-1, 3.65) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Angels, who have lost four in a row.

Pena's only appearance against the Mariners ranks as the worst of his major-league career.

Last season, he faced nine Seattle hitters and recorded one out on July 29, allowing seven runs and six hits in the eventual 8-5 loss at Angel Stadium.

Converted to a starter after two seasons as a reliever with the Chicago Cubs, Pena vowed to rebound from that performance and he lowered his ERA from 5.23 to 4.18 by the end of the season.

He's still looking to get past the fifth inning this season and become eligible for a win. He's allowed one earned run in 8 2/3 innings over his past two starts, both victories by the Angels.

Los Angeles could use a lengthy outing from Pena after using four relievers on Thursday.

"The bullpen has been taxed," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said after Thursday's loss. "Understandably, we go to them when we think the game is on the line, but I think long haul, it's going to have to happen less. We're going to need a little bit more length out of the starters."

--Field Level Media

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