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Felix Hernandez, Justin Smoak lead Seattle Mariners to Opening Day win

Justin Smoak came through with a huge three-run homer against the Angels on March 31.
Justin Smoak came through with a huge three-run homer against the Angels on March 31.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Felix Hernandez picked up the win and Justin Smoak hit a three run homer as the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night (March 31). Hernandez went six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits while striking out 11 hitters. It was the 27th time in his career that he has struck out at least 10 in a game. The bullpen then came in and finished it off for him in the final three innings.

M's Starting Rotation Set

Smoak had a huge night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a home run, three runs scored, and three RBIs. These are the numbers that fans have been waiting years to see from him. The Angels tried to pitch around Robinson Cano in order to focus on him, but he made them pay. That included an intentional walk of Cano that was followed up by a Smoak double down the right field line.

Up 4-3 in the ninth inning and needing some insurance, Smoak connected for a three-run homer off Kevin Jepsen. The team then loaded the bases and Dustin Ackley cleared them with a triple into the gap. It was his second hit of the game and it helped the Mariners post six runs in the ninth inning alone. By the time the smoke had cleared, the score was 10-3 and Danny Farquhar would pitch a perfect bottom of the ninth to keep it that way.

In his first game as the leadoff hitter this season, Abraham Almonte was 2-for-5 with a double. The rest of the team showed a lot of patience at the plate, working eight walks, including two each from Logan Morrison and Kyle Seager. The offense kept Jared Weaver from notching a win for the Angels and allowed Hernandez to move to 1-0 quickly on the season. Having four relievers combine to give up no runs also helped.

The Seattle Mariners play again on Tuesday (April 1), with Erasmo Ramirez taking the mound for the team. The Angels will put C.J. Wilson out there and the start time will be 7:05 p.m. PT.

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