The Seattle Mariners brought home another victory Tuesday night, defeating the Los Angeles Angels 8-3. Erasmo Ramirez went seven strong innings, and received more than enough offensive support.
The 23 year-old Ramirez had a tough act to follow after Felix Hernandez thoroughly dominated the Angels the previous night. However, the right-hander did his best, striking out six Halos hitters, without issuing a walk. He pounded the lower half of the zone with his sinker, recording 11 ground ball outs. A two-run shot by former Mariner Raul Ibanez were the only runs that he would surrender, and he needed just 93 pitches to make it through seven innings.
Shortstop Brad Miller was the offensive star for the Mariners, hitting two home runs. The first, a solo shot off Angels starter C.J. Wilson in the 5th inning, expanded the Mariners lead to 5-2. His second home run was a two-run job in the 9th, which put the icing on the cake.
Overall, Mariners bats collected 10 hits, five of which went for extra bases. Justin Smoak rapped a bases-clearing double in a four-run 4th inning for one of his two hits. Offseason acquisition Robinson Cano reached base three times, as did Dustin Ackley.
It’s only two games into the season, but this is the type of offensive firepower that the Mariners haven’t shown in quite some time. While the team has several holes, including a pitching staff that will have to rely on youngsters and Chris Young, there are several pieces to be excited about, not the least of which is Miller.
With the injury to Jose Reyes, Miller might very well be the best shortstop in the American League. He had a solid debut season in 2013, playing in 76 games and producing a batting line of .265/.318/.418, and totaling 1.7 fWAR. The 24 year-old can handle the position, and as he showed Tuesday night, there’s more than enough pop in his bat. Going into the season, the projection systems were very high on Miller, and early on he’s showed what the optimism is all about.