Angels 5, Mariners 3

It’s a wonder what three home runs in one inning does to the
mood of a ballclub.

Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui, and Peter Bourjos each homered in
the sixth inning and the Los Angeles Angels broke a nasty scoreless
spell for a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners Monday night.

”I can tell there was a good feeling in the dugout. Everyone
was laughing and smiling,” said Bourjos, who started the homer
barrage. ”We hadn’t done that for a while.”

His homer ended a 31-inning scoring drought for the Angels, just
two innings short of the franchise record. The record of 33 was set
in 1963 and matched in 2004.

Ervin Santana (14-9) allowed two runs and eight hits in 7 2-3
innings to win for the sixth time in eight decisions.

Kevin Jepsen got the final out in the eighth and Fernando Rodney
worked the ninth to earn his seventh save in 10 opportunities. It
was his first save since June 18.

David Pauley (2-6) gave up all three Angels homers to make it

Bourjos hit a 1-0 pitch to deep center. Two batters later, Abreu
hit a near identical shot to straightaway center, his 16th.

After Torii Hunter reached on an infield single, Matsui followed
with his 17th on a 3-2 fastball into the right-field second deck, a
431-foot shot.

”We go through stretches like this periodically. The one we’re
in and hopefully trying to get out rivals anything we’ve seen
here,” said Angels 11th-year manager Mike Scioscia. ”It’s been
frustrating but the guys are playing hard and we know it’ll get
better and hopefully we’ll get some consistency to start putting
wins up.”

It was an eventful evening for Bourjos beyond his second season
home run. He was part of two defensive plays in which Franklin
Gutierrez killed a pair of Mariners rallies.

In the second inning, Gutierrez hit a ball off the left-field
wall and away from left-fielder Abreu. But Bourjos, hustling from
his center field spot, scooped it up and threw out Gutierrez trying
to stretch a double into a triple.

”Gutierrez hit that ball pretty good and I was just trying to
get over there,” Bourjos said. ”It hit off the wall and kicked
back to me. Bobby helped me out, telling me he’s going to three. I
came up and put the throw right there.”

Gutierrez said: ”I was trying to be aggressive on that. That
kind of stuff happens.”

Mariners manager Daren Brown defended his player in that

”I don’t mind that type of aggression at that point of a 0-0
game,” Brown said.

It happened again in the ninth.

The Mariners trailed 5-2 but Rodney had an uneven inning. He
walked Casey Kotchman to open the inning. Then Gutierrez hit a ball
that got past Bourjos in center field.

”I whiffed it,” Bourjos said. ”I thought it was back spun and
at the last minute it started spinning the other and sank.”

It was originally charged as an error to Bourjos but changed
shortly after the game ended.

Kotchman was held at third but Gutierrez, head down as he
rounded second, stopped midway to third. He tried returning to the
second but was tagged out.

”I don’t know what he was seeing,” Gutierrez said of second
base umpire Jerry Meals. ”I was safe and he called me out. I’ve
nothing to say about that.”

Kotchman later scored on a wild pitch.

Seattle had scored two in the seventh, with a little help from
the Angels defense. Jose Lopez’s popup fell between shortstop Erick
Aybar and third baseman Alberto Callaspo when neither called for
it. After a single by Gutierrez and a wild pitch, Michael Saunders
looped a RBI single just in front of Torii Hunter in right.

Adam Moore followed with a sacrifice fly to center.

”The things you toss and turn over. Some things happened in
that game on the defensive side that shouldn’t happen,” Scioscia
said. ”We were fortunate to hold on for a win.”

Notes: Seattle LF Saunders, bothered by a bruised right shoulder
since a wall collision Aug. 5, was back in the lineup. An MRI
showed a right rotator cuff bruise. He had not played in the field
since Aug. 21. … Angels RH Joel Pineiro, on the DL since July 28
with a strained left oblique, is close to a return. ”He’s passing
every checkpoint with flying colors,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia
said. ”He turned the ball loose on the mound today. We’ll see how
he comes out of it.” He said that Pineiro should be activated,
”hopefully, by the end of the road trip, by the latest early next