Angels 8, Mariners 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)
Judging by his 0-for-5 performance, Torii Hunter could have used another day off after virtually hosting Angel Stadium's All-Star festivities over the past few days.
The rest of the Los Angeles Angels used the break to refuel an offense that was running on empty last week.
Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu drove in three runs apiece, Joel Pineiro won his seventh straight decision, and the Angels roared back from the break with 16 hits in an 8-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.
Two days after the NL won 3-1 in a snoozer of an All-Star game, the ballpark finally hosted an entertaining contest with plenty of highlights - almost entirely from the Angels, who had scored just 14 runs in their previous seven games.
''Coming back from the All-Star game and scoring some runs helps this team a lot,'' said Abreu, who has seven hits and six RBIs in his last four games. ''It's what we're looking for. If we keep doing it this way, we're going to be in good shape.''
Howie Kendrick had a run-scoring double for the Angels, who stumbled into the break with eight losses in 10 games, including a 1-6 road trip on which they were outscored by 30 runs. Those problems evaporated under unusually dark skies in Anaheim, where every Angels starter except Hunter - their only All-Star game participant - had at least one hit.
''For a long time, we've had some soft spots in the lineup,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We've talked about it for a while. Tonight, we got clutch hits in scoring position, hit the ball hard, and cashed in on those opportunities.''
Aybar and Jeff Mathis had three hits apiece to back Pineiro (10-6), who gave up six hits over seven innings. After a slow start to his first season with the Angels, the former Seattle right-hander had won six consecutive starts before getting a no-decision last Friday in Oakland despite leaving with a 5-3 lead after seven innings.
''Defense and good run support,'' Pineiro said when asked to reveal his winning formula. ''That's all I can ask for. Hopefully that's a good start for us in the second half, and we can keep on rolling. Hopefully the other guys feed off that.''
All-Star Ichiro Suzuki hit a three-run double and threw out the speedy Aybar at the plate for the last-place Mariners, who have lost 10 of 12. Seattle has lost eight of 10 to its AL West rivals this season.
The Angels methodically pounded Seattle starter Doug Fister (3-5), who gave up 12 hits and six runs. Taking the rotation spot that would have been occupied by traded star Cliff Lee, he pitched into the sixth inning of his fourth consecutive loss, his ERA rising from 3.09 to 3.50.
''He's got some big shoes, but each guy on this team has a role, and that's where we're slotted in,'' Fister said. ''So there's no more added pressure or anything different. It's a matter of going out and playing the game that we know how to play.''
Pineiro got into trouble only in the fifth, giving up four straight hits capped by Suzuki's double in the gap. Pineiro has started each of the Angels' last three victories while becoming their first 10-game winner this season, beating All-Star ace Jered Weaver.
After Aybar led off the first with a single and scored on Abreu's double, the Angels went up 4-0 in the second with five consecutive one-out hits. Aybar's drive to right scored two runs, but Suzuki threw him out when he attempted to score from first on Kendrick's double.
Suzuki, who has a 14-game hitting streak, also attempted to score from third on Franklin Gutierrez's sharp grounder in the fifth, but Mathis tagged him out at the plate.
''Fister was getting hurt early in the ballgame because he left some pitches up,'' Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. ''He gave up 12 hits, but seven of them were groundballs. In the fourth and fifth, I thought he had the best stuff he had all night.''
NOTES: Pineiro won a career-best eight straight decisions in 2003. ... Before the game, Seattle signed veteran RHP Jamey Wright and promoted LHP Chris Seddon from Triple-A Tacoma. The 35-year-old Wright debuted for his eighth major league team in the seventh inning, allowing Mathis' RBI single. ... Seattle LHP Erik Bedard felt discomfort in his throwing shoulder while playing catch. Bedard will travel back with the team to Seattle on Sunday to see team physician Edward Kahlfayan, and might get an MRI or a CAT scan. Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed surgery on Bedard's torn labrum last August, checked on Bedard in the Mariners' clubhouse. ... Mariners 1B Russell Branyan sat out after banging his toe into a table in his hotel Thursday morning.