Cabrera lifts Angels

By Times Staff
Published April 4, 2006

SEATTLE - Orlando Cabrera's two-run single in the ninth pushed the Angels past the Mariners 5-4 in the season opener.

With the game tied 3-3, reliever George Sherrill walked Casey Kotchman. Jose Molina sacrificed pinch-runner Maicer Izturis to second and Tim Salmon advanced him to third on a groundout. Reliever J.J Putz walked Chone Figgins, who stole second before Cabrera's two-run single for the Angels.

It was Los Angeles' first win since losing four straight games in the ALCS to the White Sox.

Scot Shields pitched 11/3 innings in relief for the victory.

Francisco Rodriguez earned the save, giving up a solo homer to pinch-hitter Roberto Petagine in the ninth. Petagine had one homer in 18 games last season with Boston. It was his first major league season since 1998.

Kenji Johjima, playing in the first major league game for a Japanese catcher, homered in the fifth for Seattle. The Mariners scored two more runs that inning to tie the game at 3 on run-scoring singles by Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez.

Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth inning off starter Bartolo Colon, but reliever J.C. Romero, who pitched the previous six seasons in Minnesota, struck out Jeremy Reed, got Betancourt to fly out and Ichiro Suzuki to hit into a force play.

Colon, 6-1 in his career at Safeco Field and 4-1 all-time on opening day, struck out the side in the first inning and allowed just two infield singles through 41/3 innings before Johima's homer.