Trout's 2-run HR off King Felix leads Angels over M's 4-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Mike Trout has had his share of success and failure against Felix Hernandez. The 2014 AL MVP began Saturday night's game with a .354 career average against the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner - the highest by any player with at least 50 at-bats against Hernandez
Trout also has struck out 21 times against Hernandez, tying for the second-highest total by any player behind Torii Hunter's 22 Ks.
This time, Trout won the battle. He drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a home run against the Seattle Mariners ace, and Cliff Pennington also homered in the Los Angeles Angels' 4-2 victory.
''It's a battle each and every time,'' Trout said. ''He's obviously one of the best pitchers in the league and he's really dominant. When he's got his stuff working, he's hard to hit. I was just trying to get a pitch I could hit - looking fastball, obviously. And I got one.''
Nelson Cruz put Seattle ahead 2-1 in the sixth with his second homer in two nights after an eight-game drought. But Trout responded in the bottom half when he drove a 1-0 pitch to center field after a leadoff single by Rafael Ortega.
It was Trout's third homer of the season and fifth of his career against Hernandez (1-2). Two innings earlier, he fouled a pitch hard off his right foot and hobbled around for more than a minute before resuming the at-bat and hitting a double.
''It's still pretty sore and it's still aching,'' Trout said. ''He threw me a nasty changeup or sinker, and it was filthy. It's awkward when you foul it off your back foot. It was bothering me the rest of the game, and it was definitely on my mind, but I wasn't going to come out.''
For good measure, Trout threw out pinch-hitter Adam Lind in the seventh when he tried to stretch his hit over the center fielder's head into a double.
''He hit it well, and it was one of those balls where I thought I'd have to jump for it,'' Trout said. ''It was hit so hard, I told myself I had a chance to throw him out at second. I got a good hop off the wall, got a good grip on it and just fired it into second.''
Hector Santiago (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits over six innings and struck out seven. The left-hander pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and fanned 10 last Monday in a 7-0 road win against the White Sox, and he is 4-0 over his last 10 starts - all of which the Angels have won.
Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save in five chances.
Hernandez allowed three runs and five hits through seven innings with four strikeouts and two walks. The Venezuelan-born right-hander fanned Ortega in the first inning for 2,163rd career strikeout, breaking Randy Johnson's franchise record.
Hernandez was scheduled to start the opener of this three-game series, but he was scratched because of the flu, and Hisashi Iwakuma went eight innings on his normal four days' rest before the Mariners won 5-2 in 10.
''I think we know what to expect out of Felix, even coming back from being sick yesterday,'' manager Scott Servais said. ''He looked good. You could tell when he walked in here today that he was ready to go and ready to compete and give us a great effort, which he did.''
Pennington tied it in the third, driving Hernandez's first pitch of the inning into the lower seats in the right field corner for his first home run in an Angels uniform. It was just his second RBI in 43 career at-bats against Hernandez to that point.
Mariners: Hernandez was 7-2 with a 1.37 ERA in his previous 14 starts against the Angels, but his career record against them is only 14-15.
Angels: Kole Calhoun has no RBIs and just four hits in 36 career at-bats against Hernandez. But he drove in the Angels' final run with an eighth-inning single against Vidal Nuno. ... The switch-hitting Pennington was the first second baseman to homer against Hernandez since Ian Kinsler did it with Texas on July 3, 2013. Fifteen of his 31 career homers have been solo shots. ... Albert Pujols was 0 for 4 and is hitless in 27 at-bats since his two-run homer on April 17 at Minnesota.
Mariners: LHP Wade Miley (0-2, 8.04 ERA) has made two starts against the Angels, both last season with Boston. He beat them 6-1 in the first one, allowing one run over eight innings. In the second one, he pitched seven innings of one-hit ball and settled for a no-decision as the Red Sox lost 1-0 on Trout's ninth-inning homer.
Angels: Matt Shoemaker (1-2) has a 1.74 ERA with eight home runs allowed in his 24 big league victories, compared to an 8.20 ERA with 25 homers allowed in his 16 losses.