Nava's big day fuels Angels' effort vs. Mariners

Nava's big day fuels Angels' effort vs. Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Left fielder Daniel Nava racked up three hits and three RBIs on Saturday as the Angels came from behind to beat the Mariners, 9-7, in Cactus League play at Peoria Stadium.

Left-hander Wade Miley threw two scoreless innings in his Mariners debut and Robinson Cano and Franklin Gutierrez homered for the Mariners.

Nava, who signed as a free agent with the Angels, is fighting for the starting left-field job and figures to open the season in a platoon with fellow newcomer Craig Gentry.

"Hopefully I'll get a chance to play every day, but that's the same thing everyone wants," said Nava. "Everyone wants that shot. My goal is just to put myself in the best position and leave the decision up to the manager."

Cano's two-run homer highlighted a three-run first against Angels southpaw Nate Smith, a late fill-in for scheduled starter Andrew Heaney. With Heaney sidelined by illness, the 24-year-old Smith threw the first two frames for the Halos and retired the last six batters in a row after allowing three straight hits to open the game.

Cano's two-run homer

Miley, acquired from the Red Sox in a trade for reliever Carson Smith, surrendered a single and walk in the second inning, but was efficient in a 27-pitch outing in which he threw 21 strikes.

"I tried to pound the zone, get ahead and get early contact," Miley said. "Fortunately it was hit at people."

Nava cut Seattle's lead to 3-2 with a two-run double in the fourth off reliever Vidal Nuno. Nava went 3-for-3, including a run-scoring single in the sixth. Andrelton Simmons made his first start in the field at shortstop this spring for the Halos and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

Nava's RBI single

Gutierrez launched his second homer of the spring in the fourth with a solo shot to center off Cam Bedrosian for Seattle. Nelson Cruz made his spring debut after being slowed by a sore left knee and went 0-for-2 and was hit in the forearm by a pitch in the first inning.

Gutierrez's solo homer

Nick Buss' two-run double in a four-run seventh tied the game and Sherman Johnson followed with a two-run double of his own to give the Angels a 7-5 lead. Rey Navarro broke a 7-7 tie in the eight with a run-scoring double to give the Angels the lead for good.

Johnson's two-run double

Up next for the Angels: Albert Pujols is set to make his Spring Training debut as the DH against the Royals at 12:10 p.m. PT Sunday on MLB.TV. The veteran slugger underwent foot surgery in the offseason, and his return to the lineup comes a bit earlier than expected. It remains unclear when -- or if -- he'll get to play first base during Spring Training. Nick Tropeano will take the hill, as he begins his quest to win the No. 5 starter job out of camp.

Up next for the Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma makes his Cactus League debut on Sunday as Seattle faces the Rangers in Surprise. Closer Steve Cishek and set-up man Joaquin Benoit -- two key offseason additions -- will be among the relievers slated for the 12:05 p.m. PT game, which will be available only on MLB Gameday Audio.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.