SEATTLE -- Carlos Peguero's mammoth third-inning home run left a lasting impression on his teammates.
The 451-foot shot -- third-longest in Safeco Field history -- jump-started the moribund Mariners offense as they went on to a 6-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.It was only the third time in the past 15 games that Seattle scored more than three runs in a game.Peguero broke a scoreless tie in the third with his solo shot on a 3-2 pitch from Garrett Richards (1-1). The only two longer home runs in the stadium's 12½-year history were 462 feet by San Francisco's Barry Bonds (June 16, 2006) and 460 feet by the Mariners' Raul Ibanez (June 20, 2007).It's believed Peguero is the second player ever to hit the center-field batter's eye. The other was Mike Napoli in 2008. It also was his first at-bat this season, as he was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday when Franklin Gutierrez was placed on the disabled list."That was pretty impressive. He hit the batter's eye," said Kyle Seager, who had three hits, including a two-run home run. "What they say, 450 (feet)? I don't know how they measure that but that's a long way. That's pretty tough to top."Anytime you see the first at-bat of the year and he hits it two-thirds up the batter's eye. ... I haven't even got one to center field in BP."The Mariners were coming off a 1-5 road trip in which they scored just three runs or fewer in all their losses, including two shutouts. Their 10-3 loss to Houston on Wednesday prompted manager Eric Wedge to hold a closed-door meeting after the game."He gave a nice talk. He got everyone's attention," Seager said. "We know we had to play better. We played with more of an edge today."Seager extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games. That matches the longest streak in the majors this season, as the Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro and Philadelphia's Michael Young each had 14. Seager is hitting .412 (21-of-51) during his streak. He moved his average from .147 to .306. It also was his third three-hit game this season.Jason Bay had two hits and two RBIs, and Endy Chavez had three hits.Rookie Brandon Maurer (2-3) went 6 1/3 innings to pick up the victory. He allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one.After posting a 16.20 ERA in his first two starts, Maurer has a 1.89 ERA in his past three games."He's tough on right-handed hitters," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Maurer. "One thing he did was pound the zone, especially after he got the lead. He pitched a strong game for them."That initial lead was provided by Peguero's power."I fell behind, 0-2 count," he said. "Then I just tried to make contact with the ball, hopefully, put a good swing on that ball. And that happened."Did he watch it?"Always like a hitter, you want to see how far you hit the ball," Peguero said.The Mariners continued to rally in the third. Bay singled to right and advanced to second on Chavez's one-out single to right. Seager followed with his single to left, scoring Bay from second.The Mariners added a pair of runs in the seventh on Bay's bases-loaded single to left. He is a .287 career hitter with the bases loaded. It was the Mariners' first hit in 10 tries with the bases loaded this season.Seager finished the scoring in the eighth when he hit his third home run of the season on a 2-1 pitch from Nick Maronde."It's nice to get the homestand started off on a good note," Seager said. "Maurer threw the ball good tonight. He gave us every chance to win."
The Mariners are dealing with a series of injuries to key players. OF Michael Saunders (right AC joint) likely will be sent out to Tacoma on Friday to rehab. OF Franklin Gutierrez (right hamstring), placed on the DL, has a grade 1 strain, based on Thursday's MRI. He could be out two to three weeks. Also, OF Michael Morse (nondisplaced right pinkie finger fracture) is playing through the pain, although hitting just .162 since his injury (April 16). "We're dinged up. It is what it is," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. ... The Angels also have a healthy list of key unavailable players. RHP Tommy Hanson, on bereavement leave, is expected to start Monday against Oakland. "We're penciling him in on Monday. We'll get more clarity within the next 48 hours," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. SS Erick Aybar (left heel contusion) played five innings in the minors on his way back. He'll be evaluated Friday. 2B Alberto Callaspo (right calf strain) is eligible to come off the DL this weekend.