Think of it as a case of before and after that somehow worked Friday for the Mariners as they kicked off their Ken Griffey Jr. Celebration Weekend with a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Felix Hernandez survived a shaky first inning that found him in a 3-0 hole after three batters, courtesy of a Mike Trout home run. But Hernandez allowed just one more hit in pitching through the eighth inning.
The Mariners beat up on the shell of Tim Lincecum for six runs in the first inning, which more than erased Trout’s homer. After that, the Mariners put runners on base in every inning. And got nothing more.
It worked out.
Mike Zunino’s three-run homer capped the six-run first inning. He reached down and golfed a change-up from Lincecum with sufficient muscle to clear the left-field wall.
Hernandez (6-4) gave up four runs and three hits in his longest outing of the season. Rookie Edwin Diaz finished off the Angels with a scoreless ninth for his third save in three chances since becoming the club’s closer.
The victory enabled the Mariners to reach the two-thirds point in their season at 55-53. They are seven games behind first-place Texas in the American League West Division and also seven back in the wild-card race.
Lincecum (2-6) exited with one out in the fourth. Nine starts into his comeback, his ERA is 9.16.