When his second pitch of the game was sent sailing over the right-field fence by Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, it was easy to wonder if Blake Beavan might be in for a rude awakening in his second Major League start.
But the big Mariners rookie right-hander steadied himself impressively, giving up only another solo home run to Vernon Wells in the fourth, and went on to pitch 6 1/3 strong innings in Seattle's 4-3 loss on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, their bullpen wasn't quite as stout on this night. Jamey Wright gave up a game-tying blast to Hank Conger in the seventh, and Mark Trumbo ended the contest with a walk-off home run off David Pauley leading off the ninth.
Pauley got the Mariners out of a bases-loaded jam an inning earlier with a pair of groundouts, coming on nice plays from third baseman Kyle Seager and shortstop Brendan Ryan.
The 6-foot-7 Beavan won his debut last Sunday with an excellent seven-inning, three-hit outing in a 3-1 victory over the Padres, but will likely be sent back down to Triple-A Tacoma if Erik Bedard returns as expected after next week's All-Star break.
Bedard, who sprained his left knee on June 27, will do some throwing on Sunday to test his readiness. But Beavan certainly has given the Mariners a glimpse of another rotation option with two solid outings, the latest coming against an Angels team that had won 11 of its last 14 games.
Beavan gave up six hits and just the two runs, his ERA now at 2.02. The 22-year-old's command was again impressive, as he didn't walk a batter and now has just two bases on balls in 13 1/3 innings.
Beavan turned a 3-2 lead over to the bullpen in the seventh, but his record remains 1-0 after Wright gave up another home run -- this one to Conger -- to tie the game.
That could have been worse, but Miguel Olivo threw out Trumbo trying to steal second just before Conger unloaded his blast, leaving the game tied.
After totaling just one run in their previous two games, the Mariners pushed across three against Angels right-hander Ervin Santana.
The Mariners didn't exactly overpower Santana in his seven-inning stint, but they got some things done. Sacrifice flies by Justin Smoak and Brendan Ryan pushed across runs in the fourth and fifth after Ichiro Suzuki brought in Seattle's first run on a ground ball to third.
Seattle started four rookies, including Beavan. First-year outfielder Greg Halman helped the cause with a pair of hits, including a double in the fifth.
Rookie Dustin Ackley got his first start in the No. 3 spot in the lineup and went 1-for-4 with a run scored. He's now hit safely in 16 of his 18 games. Seager, getting his second start at third base, went 0-for-2 with a walk.