Crawford's slam and Miller's arm lead surging Mariners to 9-0 win over Angels

SEATTLE (AP) — J.P. Crawford hit a grand slam, Bryce Miller struck out nine in six innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-0 on Saturday.

Miller (5-5) allowed just three hits for the Mariners, who lead the AL West on June 1 for the first time since 2003. They have won seven straight home series and six of their last seven games overall. Seattle (33-27) is a season-high six games over .500.

“That was a fun ballgame, it really was,” manager Scott Servais said.

Seattle got nine hits, including three from Julio Rodríguez, and two home runs — a day after firing bench coach and offensive coordinator Brant Brown.

“I think we’re just freeing things up,” Servais said, “and I know that it’s been a point of emphasis over the last couple of days. Let’s free these players up, let’s talk about and really focus on what they do well and playing to their strengths.”

Miller gave up leadoff singles in the first and second, but after switching up his strategy to throw more four-seam fastballs and breaking pitches, he allowed just one more hit and never permitted a runner past second base.

“Yeah, like, the second inning, I don’t know where the fastball went, but I lost it,” Miller said.

“I guess it fell out of my pocket or something, but we found it between innings.”

It was the second-year right-hander’s 11th career game with six or more innings and three or fewer hits allowed, and the ninth time this season he's held an opponent to two or fewer earned runs. His eight quality starts bring the Mariners' major league-leading total to 36.

Three relievers finished a six-hitter. Seattle is 29-12 when its starters pitch six or more innings.

Angels starter Reid Detmers (3-6) set up Crawford’s fourth-inning slam, a line drive to right field, with a pair of walks that loaded the bases. He yielded four hits and five earned runs with three strikeouts and four walks in 3 2/3 innings.

After the game, Detmers was demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake.

While not known for his power, Crawford is known for his confidence, and the shortstop had little doubt he would produce runs in his fourth-inning at-bat. He's batting .650 with three grand slams and 34 RBIs with the bases loaded since the start of 2023.

“I was just trying to be quick to the ball and not do too much,” Crawford said. “He threw me (a curveball) on the previous at-bat before and I got a feel for it, then just reacted and it went over. Thankfully, the roof was closed.”

Cal Raleigh hit a two-run double to cap a four-run sixth. Luke Raley had a solo homer and Rodríguez added his second RBI single of the game. The star center fielder has reached base safely in eight straight games after a slow start.

PURE BLISS

Fill-in 2B Ryan Bliss displayed his athletic potential, picking up his first major league hit in his fourth game for Seattle as a replacement for injured Jorge Polanco. Bliss also stole his first two bases, manufacturing a run to make it 1-0 in the third on Rodríguez’s first RBI single. He then showed his toughness after taking a shot to the head while successfully tagging up on a flyball in the sixth. Bliss scored from second on another single by Rodríguez after a visit from an athletic trainer.

“He was front and center in so much action out there,” Servais said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: 1B Nolan Schanuel missed his second straight game with a sore left thumb. Manager Ron Washington said Schanuel had improved but wasn’t sure if he would return to the lineup Sunday.

Mariners: LHP Gabe Speier experienced shoulder pain following his last outing Wednesday and has been placed on the 15-day injured list with a left rotator cuff strain. Speier underwent an MRI on Friday, Servais said. Seattle recalled RHP Collin Snider, who started the season with the team and appeared in three games before being sent to Triple-A Tacoma. Speier was 0-2 with a 6.06 ERA in 16 1/3 innings.

UP NEXT

Angels RHP Griffin Canning (2-4, 5.08 ERA) closes out the series against RHP Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.28).

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