Mariners 2, Angels 1

Jack Cust saw the ball come off Carlos Peguero’s bat and thought

at the very least he should touch home plate considering there were

two outs in the ninth inning, even if Peguero’s fly ball likely

meant extra innings.

Then when the most unlikely of events happened, especially with

a nine-time Gold Glove winner standing in center field, Seattle’s

designated hitter went back and tapped the plate one more time as

the winning run, just to be sure.

No need to add any more wackiness to an already unusual


Peguero’s fly ball would have sent the game to the 10th inning

on Thursday afternoon. But Los Angeles center fielder Torii Hunter

could not track the ball and it fell onto the outfield grass,

giving the Mariners an unlikely sun-aided 2-1 win over the


Seattle used a check-swing infield single by Cust off Angels

reliever Scott Downs (1-1), a sacrifice bunt by Adam Kennedy and

Peguero’s single to take both games of the brief two-game set with

the Angels and hand Los Angeles a fifth straight loss.

And it’ll be remembered as one of the oddest endings either team

has been associated with.

”I saw it off the bat and ran after it till it’s highest point

and didn’t see it anymore. I just battled, tried to find it, stand

there as long as I could, put my glove where I thought it would

fall in,” Hunter said. ”I just couldn’t see it. You can’t catch

what you can’t see.”

Losing a ball in the sun isn’t new for Hunter, who made a

tremendous leaping grab while crashing into the center field wall

to rob Peguero of at least a double in the seventh inning.

”But (I’ve) never lost the ball to lose the game,” Hunter

said. ”That stings even more.”

For Peguero, a rookie the Mariners hope could be the answer to

their lack of stability in left field, the pounding he took from

his teammate for the odd game-wining hit was welcomed.

”Something happened, a good something happened,” Peguero


If anyone knows what Hunter faced on Peguero’s fly ball, it was

Seattle’s Michael Saunders. In the top of the ninth, Saunders

danced all over center field, trying to fight off the sun to catch

a fly ball by Alberto Callaspo. That was the most obvious example

of Saunders struggling with the sun, but it was a problem all


”For the middle to late (innings) it was brutal. I was doing

the two-step out there on one of them. I lost it for a good two to

three seconds probably,” Saunders said. ”Luckily it came out of

the sun for me. Obviously, you saw one of the greatest out there

and he lost it in the sun. It was awful.”

David Pauley (2-0) got the win for Seattle, pitching the ninth

inning after Doug Fister went eight innings and continued a run of

impressive performances by the Mariners starting rotation. Fister

went eight innings, giving up six hits and one run.

In its brief four-game homestand, Seattle’s starters were

brilliant. Michael Pineda, Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas and Fister

all worked at least seven innings – 30 total between the foursome –

and allowed a combined three earned runs.

In 15 games this month, Mariners starters have gone at least

seven innings 11 times.

”It’s been outstanding. That’s the only word I can think of,”

Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. ”Consistently getting us deep

into ball games. Each starter focusing on what they need to do and

doing their job and doing the work in between starts so when they

go out there they are giving themselves an opportunity to be at

their best.”

Fister’s only run allowed came in the fourth when he left a

changeup over the middle of the plate that Howie Kendrick drove

just over the hand-operated scoreboard in left field. It was the

Angels’ first run since the eighth inning on Monday night in

Oakland, a span of 24 innings.

But Fister didn’t fold, bouncing back to retire 13 of the final

17 batters he faced. He gave up a leadoff double to Alexi Amarista

in the fifth and later walked Bobby Abreu, but got Maicer Izturis

to ground into a double play to end that threat.

Fister also escaped a jam in the second after Hank Conger’s

two-out double put runners on second and third, only to see Mark

Trumbo fly out to end the inning.

Seattle’s other run came when Luis Rodriguez doubled to start

the fifth, the Mariners first hit off Angels’ starter Dan Haren.

Rodriguez scored on Chris Gimenez’s sacrifice fly, barely beating

Hunter’s throw from center field.

Haren also went eight innings and allowed just three hits.

NOTES: Hunter has spent most of the season in right field, but

was moved to center to give Peter Bourjos a day off. ”I think he

knows the neighborhood,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia joked before

Thursday’s game. ”I heard he’s played it before so we’ll give him

a shot.” … Seattle begins interleague play on Friday with a

three-game weekend series in San Diego. The Angels go home to host

Atlanta. … Kendrick had his 19th multi-hit game and leads the

American League. He left in the bottom of the ninth inning with

tightness in his right hamstring. He was thrown out trying to steal

second in the top of the inning.