On Monday, April 6, the Mariners opened up their season with the first of a three-game series against the division rival Los Angeles Angels.
The first run came about early when Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout hit a solo home run in the top of the first inning, giving the Angels an early 1-0 lead. The game remained dry until Seattle’s batting order in the bottom of the third inning.
After Dustin Ackley and Brad Miller put two outs on the scoreboard, outfielder Austin Jackson doubled into left field to keep the inning going. Not failing to deliver, fellow outfielder Seth Smith tripled, driving in Jackson to even up the score at 1-1.
To follow it up, second baseman Robinson Cano singled into center field to bring Smith to the plate and end up closing out the third inning with the Mariners ahead 2-1. Things remained quiet once again until the Mariners came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth. Dustin Ackley, the Mariners left fielder, in his fifth year with the Seattle squad, drove a ball into the stands to start it off, extending Seattle’s lead to 3-1.
Later that same inning, with shortstop Brad Miller on second base, Seth Smith hit a double, bringing Miller home and reaching the game’s final score of 4-1, with the Mariners taking the win.
Felix Hernandez, the Mariners star starting pitcher, finished the game after seven innings having only allowed the one run, as well as striking out 10 batters while only walking one. He wound up with a 1.29 Earned Run Average. Jered Weaver, the opposing starter, finished a 6.00 ERA, allowing four runs in six innings. Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar, and Carson Smith all came away with a hold, and Fernando Rodney brought in his first save of the season on opening night.
Seattle’s Head Coach Lloyd McClendon spoke on Felix’s performance on opening night.
“96 pitches is probably a little more than I wanted on his first day of the season but he did a nice job,” said McClendon, regarding Hernandez’s performance as a whole. The coach was also questioned about Trout’s early home run.
“He really bounced back he wasn’t intimidated by the home run. I think [Mike Trout] hit a home run off of him opening day last year as well.”
“Great pitches good curveball, great changeup,and excellent fastball,” Hernandez said. With that win, Hernandez remained undefeated on opening day. When asked about what it is that helps him perform so well, he let out a little laugh.
“You got a lot of eyes on you so you have got to do good,” Hernandez said.