It was a double homecoming Friday for Seattle Mariners right fielder Mark Trumbo, an Anaheim native who returned to Angel Stadium for the first time since a Dec. 13, 2013, trade sent him to Arizona.
“I’m obviously very familiar with the place,” he said, “so I know how to get around a little bit. But it is strange coming in from the right-field side. The (visiting) clubhouse is obviously different. It feels like business.
“It’s going to be great seeing everyone who I played with and keep in touch with. But ultimately, I’m here with the Mariners and trying to help this team win games.”
Trumbo, 29, was drafted by the Angels in the 18th round of the 2004 draft and spent nine years in the organization, including three-plus seasons in the majors, before going to the Diamondbacks.
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The Mariners acquired him from Arizona with pitcher Vidal Nuno in a June 3 trade for reliever Dominic Leone, catcher Welington Castillo and minor leaguers outfielder Gabby Guerrero and shortstop Jack Reinheimer.
Trumbo has yet to provide the muscle the Mariners envisioned, i.e., the guy who averaged 32 homers and 94 RBIs from 2011-13 with the Angels. He entered Friday at 10 for 63 in 17 games with one homer and five RBIs.
“Getting traded (Arizona) in the offseason was a lot easier than in season (to the Mariners),” Trumbo said. “Guys have to do it all of the time, but it’s not the easiest thing in the world.
“I’m getting more acclimated here and I expect, sooner rather than later, to start playing to my capabilities.”
Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will continue his minor league rehab assignment for a strained back muscle by making at least one more start Tuesday for Triple-A Tacoma.
Plans call for Iwakuma, 34, to face Las Vegas (Mets) at Cheney Stadium.
Iwakuma pitched four scoreless innings Thursday for the Rainiers in a 1-0 victory over Reno (Diamondbacks) in 10 innings. He gave up three hits and walked one while striking out four — but wasn’t particularly pleased.
“I had to fight some mechanics,” he said. “I was able to get some of the balls down, but some of the balls I left up in the zone. I thought I had good arm speed and good arm angle, so I think I’m going in the right direction.”
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon offered a similar assessment.
“The first two innings were kind of tough,” McClendon said. “A little erratic. Mechanics were off. He’s progressing. He’s healthy. He touched 91 (mph) a few times, he worked 87-91. That’s encouraging.”
The velocity was particularly encouraging. Mariners officials wanted to see him top 90 mph before he returns to the big-league rotation.
Iwakuma suffered a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle on April 21 in a routine day-after throwing session following an April 20 start against Houston.
He began his rehab assignment June 20, when he gave up one run and three hits over 32/3 innings for Short-A Everett against Eugene (Cubs).
Minor league rehab assignments can last up to 30 days for pitchers, but Iwakuma could rejoin the Mariners’ rotation in time for a July 5 start at Oakland.
Because of a scoring change, Logan Morrison’s errorless streak at first base is back intact at 43 games going into the weekend.
Major League Baseball rescinded an error originally given to Morrison in Tuesday’s 7-0 victory over Kansas City at Safeco Field. Alex Gordon is now credited with a single on a hot grounder that Morrison failed to handle.
The change also means Mike Montgomery pitched a five-hit shutout over the Royals, instead of a four-hit shutout he was originally credited with.
CHRISTMAS IN JUNE
The Angels staged a “Christmas in June” promotion for the series opener by decking out Angel Stadium with huge wreaths and other holiday decorations.
They went all out, too.
Lots of Christmas carols. Everything from “Santa Baby” by Madonna to “Mele Kalikimaka” by Bing Crosby.
Santa Claus? Sure, he was on hand; he watched the Angels take batting practice.
We all need a little Christmas.
Double-A Jackson opened its second-half season with a thud Thursday night in 13-0 loss at Birmingham (White Sox).
Right-hander Edwin Diaz had his worst start in a month when he allowed five runs and six hits in 42/3 innings. Diaz, 21, was picked earlier in the day to the World team for the All-Star Futures Game on July 12 in Cincinnati.
Triple-A Tacoma shortstop Ketel Marte was also selected to the World team. Marte, 21, is currently recovering from a thumb injury at the Mariners’ year-round complex in Peoria, Arizona.
It was 16 years ago Saturday — June 27, 1999 — that the Mariners beat Texas 5-2 in the final game played at the Kingdome. Jose Mesa worked around two walks in the ninth to preserve a victory for Freddy Garcia.
The losing pitcher was future Mariners right-hander Aaron Sele, who gave up a three-run homer in the first inning to Ken Griffey Jr. It was the last homer hit at the Kingdome.
David Bell scored the last run when Brian Hunter delivered an RBI single in the fourth inning. Hunter also recorded the final out when he caught Rusty Greer’s fly to left in the ninth inning.
Nelson Cruz has 10 career homers at Angel Stadium. That is tied for the most he’s hit in any ballpark as a visiting player. He also has 10 homers at Minute Maid Park in Houston. … Friday’s game was the first of seven between the Mariners and Angels prior to the All-Star break. The Angels entered the weekend with a 4-2 lead in the 19-game season series. … The Mariners, on, Friday, played the 11th of 26 straight games in the Pacific time zone. The next time they venture away from the West is July 17, when the open their post-break schedule with a three-game series at New York.
The Mariners and Angels continue their three-game series at 4:10 p.m. Saturday at Angel Stadium. Note the time.
Left-hander J.A. Happ (3-4, 3.78) will look to break an eight-start winless streak when he opposes Los Angeles right-hander Garrett Richards (7-5, 3.66).
The game can be seen on Fox Sports and heard on 710 ESPN. The game will not be carried by Root Sports.