BY: COLE HUGHEY
Anaheim, Calif— The Angel’s 2014 season took off with an ill-omened start before Monday night’s opener against the Seattle Mariners even started. Hitting coach Don Baylor went down with a fractured right femur while catching the ceremonial first pitch from great former Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero. The Angels would go on to lose 10-3.
Baylor’s leg bent awkwardly beneath him after receiving Guerrero’s throw, and was immediately helped off the field by two team officials—leaving the Angels in disbelief.
“It got me sick when I was warming up and hearing what happened in the dugout,” said Mike Trout, who signed a six-year, $144.5 million extension on Saturday.
Baylor was rushed to the hospital before the game started and is slated to undergo surgery today.
Despite the freak injury, the Angels got off to a hot start in a hurry.
Amidst the roaring, sold-out crowd incessantly chanting ‘M-V-P’ during his first at-bat, Trout responded graciously—smashing a two run, laser shot over the left field fence off of Seattle’s ace pitcher, Felix Hernandez, with his first swing of the game.
Two innings later in the bottom of the third, Angel’s slugger Albert Pujols narrowly missed a home run of his own, settling for an RBI double. This soared deep into left field, to put the Angels up 3-1.
However, those would be the last runs the Angels would score.
Long Beach State alum, Jered Weaver, who started the game for the Angels, cruised easily through his first five innings and allowed only one unearned run and three hits. By the seventh inning, Weaver’s night ended after Seattle’s catcher Mike Zunino tripled off of the left field wall, setting up the Mariners to take their first lead of the game at 4-3.
Despite a barrage of Angels’ relievers coming in after Weaver, Seattle proved relentless. The Mariners put the game away after breaking out for six more runs in the ninth—handing the Angels their first loss of the 2014 season and snapping their five year opening-day winning streak.
Although it is just one game, the Angels can only hope that Monday’s downturn of events isn’t a sign of more unfortunate things to come.