SEATTLE (AP) — Even with a chance at adding some additional accolades to his historic rookie season, Mike Trout found getting motivated for the final day of the 2012 season tough with the Los Angeles Angels already bound to be postseason spectators.
“These last two games, when Oakland knocked us out, it was tough to stay concentrated, tough to get motivated,” Trout said. “It’s a long year, you work so hard and all of a sudden you’re out of it. It’s tough.”
Casper Wells tied a career high with five RBIs, including a three-run homer in Seattle’s six-run seventh inning, and the Mariners closed out the season with a 12-0 rout of the Angels on Wednesday night.
It was a rough final day for Trout, who missed out on chances to add marks for stolen bases and runs scored to his remarkable rookie season. Trout went 2 for 3 with a double leading off the sixth and a single in the eighth to finish the season with a .326 average. That was good for second in the AL but pretty much locked up the Triple Crown for Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.
He was also plunked in the back by Seattle starter Blake Beavan (11-11) leading off the game, then thrown out by Jesus Montero trying for his 50th steal of the season.
It was just the ninth runner all season thrown out by the Mariners’ rookie catcher and fifth time Trout was caught stealing. He finally reached base in the sixth when he doubled just inside the right-field line and took third on Kole Calhoun’s flyout to center. Albert Pujols then popped out down the right-field line and Trout tagged up and tried to score. Wells’ throw was on target and beat Trout by a few steps.
Trout was trying to become just the third rookie in AL history to finish with 130 or more runs and the company would have been elite. Joe DiMaggio scored 132 runs in 1936 and Ted Williams 131 in 1939.
“Milestones are milestone. As much as you can break up numbers and say, you got to this threshold or that threshold, the year he had was incredible,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s given a lot of people some things to chase as far as rookie seasons. He’s still in some pretty good company with some of those thresholds.”
Angels starter Jered Weaver pitched just one inning before leaving the game. Weaver (20-5) had a chance to become the fourth pitcher in Angels history to reach 21 wins, but called it a season early after giving up two runs, two hits and walking two batters in the first inning. The team said Weaver had “general fatigue” as the reason he threw just one inning.
“There wasn’t any pain; just not strong,” Weaver said. “After that first hitter you could tell something wasn’t going right. It’s not too often where I throw four pitches not even close to the zone. It’s tough to turn it on when you know your season is done. I just didn’t want to push it and have something bad happen.”
Weaver finished the season tied with Tampa Bay’s David Price for the most wins in the AL and his 2.81 ERA was good for third in the league. He seemed disinterested from the start, walking Dustin Ackley on four pitches to open the bottom of the first and later walked John Jaso throwing four straight balls after getting ahead 0-1.
The Angels, who had the fourth-highest payroll in baseball this season at $160 million after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, finished with 89 wins but just a spectator for the postseason unable to overcome an awful start to the season.
Wells added a two-run single in the sixth to give Seattle a 6-0 lead and cruise to a second straight victory to close the regular season. Wells’ homer in the seventh was his 10th of the season and capped an inning that included a two-run single by Carlos Triunfel. Montero added three RBIs earlier in the game, a pair coming on a two-out double in the third.
Every batter in the Mariners’ starting lineup scored at least once and the 12 runs were the most scored at home all season. Kyle Seager also added an RBI double off Weaver in the first inning to push his team-leading total to 86.
Seattle finished 75-87, an eight-game improvement over 2011.
Beavan threw eight innings, bouncing back from a poor start last weekend in Oakland where he failed to finish the fifth inning. He allowed seven hits and no strikeouts. Beavan ended the year going 8-5 after the All-Star break and will likely be part of the Mariners’ rotation in 2013.
“We have confidence in each other and we have a good group of guys here,” Seager said. “We took some major steps forward this year and I think we’re going to continue.”
NOTES: The Angels used six pitchers in the finale. … RF Torii Hunter played three innings and was 0 for 2 at the plate before being replaced by Calhoun. … Seattle drew 15,614 and an unofficial final total of 1,723,286. That is the lowest total since Safeco Field opened and second straight year Mariners failed to draw 2 million.