ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — David Freitas’ toddler son was mimicking a home run trot outside the Mariners’ clubhouse late Wednesday night, waiting to show dad what he had learned.
A few hours earlier, Freitas hit his first major league home run on the way to catching a shutout for Seattle in a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
“If you look at my past career in the minor leagues, maybe six or seven years in the minor leagues to get my first call-up (in 2017), I came a long way since 2010,” said Freitas, who reached base three times for the first time in his career. “It was a proud moment for me and especially since I had my mom, my wife and my son all here. They got to share this, too.”
Mariners starter Marco Gonzales (10-5) retired his first 10 batters and tossed seven sharp innings. He gave up just two hits and struck out four without issuing a walk.
“It seems like we face him every time we play the Mariners,” Angels star Mike Trout said. “He just keeps you off balance. You can’t miss a pitch on him. He’s at the corners and you just can’t miss a pitch.”
Alex Colome pitched the eighth and All-Star closer Edwin Diaz worked a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 36th save.
As good as Gonzales was, he really enjoyed talking about Freitas afterward.
“That was really fun to see,” the left-hander said. “Those who know him know that he’s an absolute phenomenal guy. I’m so happy for him to have some success and he has been great behind the plate.”
Freitas, who had been hitless in seven at-bats since being recalled July 5, went deep in the third against starter Jaime Barria. It was Freitas’ 32nd career game, 26 with the Mariners.
Barria (5-6) allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings with five strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander has lost his last five decisions, including the past two to Seattle.
The Mariners have won 11 of 15 overall. They improved to 27-18 on the road.
Seattle shortstop Jean Segura reached base twice after finding out Wednesday he won the online vote for the final AL All-Star spot. He doubled and was hit by a pitch on the left arm.
Los Angeles did not have a baserunner until the fourth, when Andrelton Simmons hit a comebacker off Gonzales’ left leg for a single. Trout followed with a single before Gonzales retired his next 11 batters.
The Angels are 7-17 in games started by an opposing left-handed pitcher, and their 78 runs scored against lefties are the second-fewest in baseball to the San Diego Padres’ 73.
“We’ve looked at everything and historically, we have some guys that are really, really dynamic hitters against left-handed pitching,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “They just haven’t really gotten into a groove for whatever reason.”
After Freitas gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the third, Segura doubled leading off the fourth and Mitch Haniger was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch from Barria put both runners in scoring position, and All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz delivered a two-run single for a 3-0 lead.
REMAIN STANDING, PLEASE
As a precaution, Gonzales declined to take a seat between innings after he was hit in the back of the left leg by Simmons’ comebacker.
“He was in the batting cage running, trying to keep it loose because once you calm that thing down, it tightens up,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
His active evening paid dividends. Gonzales not only earned his seventh victory since May 17, he became the 10th pitcher in Mariners history to reach 10 wins before the All-Star break.
“I tried to block it out,” Gonzales said, adding he took some pain medication. “I tried to just keep throwing pitches and keep us in the ballgame. But I was thinking about it. It was pretty painful at first.”
Mariners: C Mike Zunino (bruised left ankle) should be ready to return after the All-Star break, according to Servais. … RHP Erasmo Ramirez (right lat strain) threw a 25-pitch bullpen at Class A Everett and will advance to 40 pitches before beginning a minor league rehab assignment. … RHP Dan Altavilla (right elbow flexor strain) has started to play catch but is not yet throwing from a mound.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards was diagnosed with damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and placed on the 10-day disabled list. Richards will decide on surgery or a more conservative rehabilitation process. … RHP Shohei Ohtani (elbow), already back on the active roster as a designated hitter, will be re-evaluated July 19 in an exam that could determine if he can begin the rehab process to make a return to the mound.
Mariners LHP James Paxton (8-3, 3.49 ERA) will pitch Thursday on normal rest, moving into the rotation spot left unoccupied when RHP Felix Hernandez (back soreness) went on the 10-day DL. Angels LHP Tyler Skaggs (6-5, 2.64), who had a 0.84 ERA in five June starts, is expected to come off the DL after recovering from a groin strain.
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