Shoemaker combines on 2-hitter, leads Angels over M's 5-0

Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager is unable to get a glove on a base hit by Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball exhibition game in Tempe, Ariz., Monday, March 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Matt Shoemaker combined with three relievers on a two-hitter, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 5-0 Monday.

Shoemaker retired his first 13 batters before Mike Zunino's fifth-inning double. Logan Morrison singled Zunino to third, but he was stranded when Shoemaker retired Willie Bloomquist on a flyout and Dustin Ackley on a popout.

Jose Alvarez, Ryan Mattheus and Cesar Ramos followed with hitless relief.

Shoemaker, who was 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA as a rookie last year, walked one over six innings in his third Cactus League start.

His best outing of the spring was only part of the good news for the Angels. In Scottsdale, right-hander Garrett Richards pitched four hitless innings in a minor league game against San Francisco, his first appearance of the spring.

Shoemaker and Richards both had breakthrough seasons in 2014, playing vital roles in a 94-win campaign that earned Los Angeles the AL West title.

Richards was 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 26 games. His outstanding season was cut short when he tore a tendon in his left knee while covering first base against Boston and required surgery.

Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez gave up four runs — two earned — and four hits over 1 2-3 innings in his fourth spring start.

Ramirez, who was 1-6 with a 5.26 ERA in 17 games, 14 starts, with the Mariners last year, said he was leaving his breaking ball up in the strike zone Monday.

"I started missing too much up, even when I was ahead in the count," Ramirez said. "That's what I've been working on all spring training, and even last year, that was the problem — finishing the hitters. That's what happened in the second inning."

After a perfect first inning, Ramirez ran into trouble when Matt Joyce reached on shortstop Willie Bloomquist's error to start the second. David Freese and Erick Aybar followed with RBI doubles in a four-run outburst.


Angels manager Mike Scioscia would not say what Richards' next step would be and wanted to check with pitching coach Mike Butcher first. Richards told reporters he expects to pitch again in five days, either in the Cactus League or a minor league game.

"My arm feels good," Richards said. "My leg is the only thing I'm waiting on. I feel fine. I feel like I would any other spring training.

"Today was a great day. It was another step in the right direction. Fastball is moving and cutting and the slider is breaking. ... My offseason started way too soon last year."

As for Shoemaker, he was elated with his outing.

"It's a step in the right direction," he said. "That's what we're going for. You always want to win, but with spring it's getting ready for that. So when you're able to put these games together like that it's huge."


Scioscia said he was happy with Joyce's performance after the OF-DH had missed a week with a tight hamstring. Joyce went 1 for 4 and scored from first on Freese's double in the second inning.

"I thought at the plate he looked really good," Scioscia said.

Los Angeles outfielder Matt Krauss is out of action with back spasms. Scioscia said Krauss could be sidelined for a game or two.


Mariners: LHP J.A. Happ pitches against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday in Peoria.

Angels: Touted prospect Andrew Heaney will try to lower his spring ERA from 8.68 when he faces Texas in Surprise on Tuesday. Heaney was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade for 2B Howie Kendrick.

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