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Trout's 2nd HR fuels big 8th as Halos stun M's
By Maria Guardado and Greg Johns
ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout's second homer of the game and Luis Valbuena's pinch-hit, two-run double led to a four-run eighth inning that vaulted the Angels to a 6-5 comeback victory over the Mariners in Friday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.
With the Angels trailing, 5-2, Trout ignited the rally with a solo shot off Nick Vincent. Albert Pujols then doubled and scored on C.J. Cron's two-out RBI single to bring the Halos within one. After Kole Calhoun reached on a single that deflected off the foot of Marc Rzepczynski, manager Mike Scioscia decided to bring in Valbuena to hit for Cliff Pennington. Valbuena followed by stroking a double to right field, driving in the game-winning runs for the Angels.
"We did some good things in the batter's box as the game went on," Scioscia said. "We had some chances early, but there were really some clutch at-bats in the eighth inning for us to put a four-spot up. A good comeback for the guys."
Vincent was Seattle's best setup man all season, but he's allowed 16 hits with a 14.14 ERA in seven innings over his last nine appearances this month, and gave up three hits and three runs while getting just two outs in the eighth.
"Vinny has been our eighth-inning guy all year," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He's running on fumes, we know that. But where we were at in the ballgame, we wanted to give him a chance to try to go out there and knock it down. He made a mistake to Trout and ran into some trouble there. We had two strikes on Cron, two strikes on Calhoun, two strikes on Valbuena. You've got to give those guys credit. They got the balls in play, hit them in good spots and we just couldn't put them away."
Blake Parker pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the Halos' 47th comeback victory of the season.
Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales yielded two runs on four hits over four innings in his final start of 2017. The 25-year-old rookie, who was acquired from the Cardinals in July, logged a 5.35 ERA over 36 2/3 innings in 10 appearances for the Mariners this season.
Tyler Skaggs allowed three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out seven over 4 2/3 innings for the Angels. The left-hander blanked the Mariners through the first three innings before surrendering consecutive homers to Cruz and Seager in the fourth.
"He showed flashes of the stuff that makes you excited," Scioscia said. "He did a better job with his breaking ball, had a good changeup and had good life on his fastball."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Trout's milestone home run: Trout opened the scoring in the bottom of the first by swatting a 2-1 changeup from Gonzales over the center-field fence for his 32nd home run of the season and the 200th of his career. He is the fourth American League player to reach the 200-homer mark before his age-26 season, joining Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle. Trout collected his 201st homer in the eighth, when he blasted another solo shot off Vincent to secure the 10th multi-homer game of his career. More >
"I have much respect for him, obviously. That's why I threw him a changeup there, not giving him any heaters in the zone. He made me pay. I hung it and he put an impressive swing on it." -- Gonzales on Trout's 200th home run
"It's still fun to come to the ballpark and grind with this team. I still think we want to win every game possible. We definitely don't want to have a losing season. We're going to try our best." -- Skaggs, on the Angels' dramatic victory
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After missing four games with a sprained right middle finger, Mariners shortstop Jean Segura returned to the lineup and went 3-for-3 with a double to hike his average to .300 -- and then was replaced by Gordon Beckham. If Segura doesn't play the rest of the weekend, he'll have hit .300 or better in back-to-back seasons after batting .319 last year for the D-backs.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners:Andrew Moore (1-5, 5.34 ERA) gets the start for Saturday's 6:07 p.m. PT game at Angel Stadium. The 23-year-old rookie has a 3.48 ERA in four September outings, though he's lost his last two starts to AL division champs Houston and Cleveland.
Angels:Ricky Nolasco (6-15, 5.02 ERA) will make his final start of the regular season on Saturday night as the Angels continue their three-game series against the Mariners at 6:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Nolasco is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in five starts against Seattle this year.