SEATTLE -- Albert Pujols doubled in Mike Trout for the go-ahead run in the 11th as the Angels came from behind a second time to beat the Mariners, 6-4, in the series opener Tuesday at Safeco Field.
Trout walked with one out and then raced home as Pujols' line drive off rookie southpaw James Pazos got past a diving right fielder Ben Gamel, with Trout scoring as the Mariners mishandled the relay throw. Pujols' 23rd RBI on the season put him at 1,840 for his career, passing Ted Williams into 14th on the all-time list.
"It was a hard-hit line drive that took me to the line, and I just came up a little short," Gamel said. "It's the only play I thought I had at the time. It's kind of tough. I think if I stop and try to keep it in front, it's going to skip off the grass. I think that's the only play I had. But I have to make a better throw. That's on me."
Pujols then stole third -- his first stolen base of the year -- and scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Andrelton Simmons to give the Angels a two-run cushion on their way to their eighth win in 10 games to put their record at 15-13.
"I don't take this game for granted," Pujols said. "Any opportunity I can to put myself in a position to help this ballclub to win, that's what I'm here for, and that's what I did. If you can steal one run, that's two runs that they're going to have to score to tie or three to win it, so those are chances that you need to take."
Danny Valencia broke a 2-2 tie with a home run off Matt Shoemaker in the sixth to give Seattle the temporary lead. Shoemaker, pitching at Safeco Field for the first time since taking a Kyle Seager line drive off his head last September, allowed three runs on four hits and four walks over 5 1/3 frames as he remained 1-1 with a 4.78 ERA.
Mariners starter James Paxton extended his scoreless streak at Safeco to 18 innings and had a 2-0 lead before the Angels tallied runs in the fourth and fifth. The big lefty wound up with a no-decision after allowing two runs (one earned) with five walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. The loss dropped Seattle to 11-16.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Trout finally solves Paxton: The Angels' two-time AL MVP Award winner has had trouble figuring out Paxton in the past and brought a 2-for-21 career mark with 11 strikeouts into his fifth-inning at-bat. But Trout doubled on a 2-2 cutter, moved to third on a wild pitch on ball four to Pujols and scored on a shallow sacrifice fly to center by Jefry Marte, crossing the plate with the tying run at 2 as Jarrod Dyson's throw sailed up the line. The double extended Trout's hitting streak to 15 games, tying the career best he set in July 2013.
Good time for a breakthrough: The Mariners sent rookie Daniel Vogelbach back to Triple-A Tacoma before the game, putting first-base duties firmly in the hands of Valencia despite his offensive struggles. But the veteran rewarded the faith with a go-ahead solo home run in the sixth, working his way back from an 0-2 count against Shoemaker before driving a 2-2 slider over the fence in left-center for his second round tripper of the season. Valencia is hitting just .182 with six RBIs in 23 games.
"I thought we had a chance because Trout wasn't running on the [game-winning] play. We bobbled the relay or high throw that went off Robbie's glove. We didn't execute late in the game, pitching, defense, we let Pujols get too big a lead and take third on us there. There were some things we just didn't execute, we didn't play the game the right way, and it caught us tonight." -- Mariners manager Scott Servais
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Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single in the third that deflected off the glove of third baseman Yunel Escobar. After a sluggish start this season, Cruz has hit .436 (17-for-39) with four doubles, five homers and 16 RBIs during his hitting streak to hike his average to .309 with 24 RBIs.
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: The Angels will send right-hander Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 4.13 ERA) to the mound at 7:10 p.m. PT on Wednesday for the second game of their three-game series with the Mariners at Safeco Field. Nolasco earned his second straight win after limiting the Rangers to one run over 5 2/3 innings on Thursday. He is 1-4 with a 4.33 ERA in six career starts against Seattle.
Mariners:Hisashi Iwakuma (0-2, 4.15 ERA) gets the ball Wednesday as he continues looking for his first win of the season. The 36-year-old allowed just an unearned run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings in his last start, but he took the no-decision in Detroit. He's 9-5 with a 2.76 ERA in 20 career starts against the Halos..