SEATTLE – Albert Pujols hit his 643rd career homer and drove in five runs, Jose Suarez won in his major league debut and the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Seattle Mariners 13-3 on Sunday.
Called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday night, Suarez (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. The 21-year-old lefty became the youngest pitcher to start for the Angels since Tyler Chatwood in 2011.
Luis Rengifo hit his first career home run, a solo drive in the Angels sixth that landed above the Hit It Here Cafe in left field. Mike Trout and David Fletcher each had three hits for Los Angeles and Pujols got a two-run double on a fly ball the Mariners lost in the sun.
Kyle Seager hit his first home run of the season for Seattle, ending Suarez’s outing, and also doubled.
Marco Gonzales (5-6) was tagged for 10 runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He was the first pitcher in Mariners history to win five games before May, but is 0-6 with a 7.79 ERA in his last seven starts.
“The way I pitched is just unacceptable,” Gonzales said. “I did not give my team a chance to win and I exposed our bullpen way too early. There’s a lot of things I need to work on. First and foremost, I need to take accountability for that. I need to help this team win.”
Pujols’ 11th homer this year, a three-run drive, capped a seven-run burst in the second inning. He also connected in Saturday’s 6-3 victory.
The Angels added five runs in the fifth for a 12-2 lead. Gonzales left with the bases loaded and two outs, and reliever Connor Sadzeck’s second pitch bounced past catcher Omar Narvaez, allowing Tommy La Stella to score from third.
David Fletcher walked to re-load the bases and Trout hit a two-run single. Seager’s error at third bases loaded the bases once more for the Angels and Pujols hit a high fly that eluded center fielder Mallex Smith in the sun and bounced over the wall.
The Mariners were scheduled to send another slumping veteran to the mound against Houston on Monday night when Wade LeBlanc (2-2, 6.99) would go for his first win since April 7. However, there were reports that Mariners manager Scott Servais was ready to have a reliever pitch one inning as an opening pitcher then LeBlanc would take over in the second inning. Servais had not announced who would get the starting nod.