Mariners 4, Angels 3
Hisashi Iwakuma kept his pitches down and the ball in the
ballpark. Most of the time.
Iwakuma (8-4) allowed a solo home run to Mark Trumbo, but kept
the Angels to three runs over seven innings as Seattle completed
its first sweep of the season by beating the Los Angeles Angels 4-3
It was an improvement on a lousy month by the Mariners All-Star,
who had allowed at least four runs in each of his previous five
starts and 10 home runs over his last four outings.
”He was good. Just a couple bad misses but he was downhill
better. He executed pitches better,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge
Following his previous outing – his shortest of the season
allowing six runs in three innings against Boston – Iwakuma noted
some minor mechanical adjustments he needed to fix to get back on
track. Against the Angels, Iwakuma had a better feel for his
fastball and was able to mix in his breaking pitches more
He struck out seven for his first win since June 10.
”Today, overall, I thought I had a better fastball. I had more
life with my fastball,” Iwakuma said through a translator. ”I was
able to make an adjustment. I gave up one home run but then overall
I thought I had better command than I did the last couple of
The day didn’t go nearly as well for Angels starter Joe
Blanton (2-12) left the game after allowing the first three
runners to reach base in the fifth inning. His four innings pitched
was the shortest outing of an already tumultuous season and Blanton
appeared to snap in the dugout after coming off the mound in the
fourth. Blanton attacked a water cooler and threw it to the ground
and appeared to engage in a verbal altercation with catcher Chris
Iannetta called it ”a miscommunication” but wouldn’t elaborate
on the incident. Blanton was also mum on specifics but chalked it
up to frustration.
”Any time things aren’t going good it kind of brings things to
a little volcano, a little head, whatever you want to call it,”
”Things aren’t going well. You try and do more out there
competing with everything. Things happen. Guys get mad at giving up
runs, striking out. It’s part of it sometimes.”
Michael Saunders hit a two-run homer and Raul Ibanez had an RBI
double as the Mariners topped Los Angeles for the third straight
The Mariners have now homered in 22 consecutive games, the
longest streak in the majors since Atlanta’s 23-game run in 2006.
Seattle’s string is the best by an AL club since Texas set the big
league record with 27 in 2002.
Seattle’s long-dormant offense has come alive in recent weeks.
They currently lead the majors for home runs in July and are second
in batting average and runs scored for the month.
”We’re doing our jobs. We’re getting runners in from third
base. We’re moving runners over.” Saunders said. The biggest thing
that was lacking was we were taking our walks, we were getting into
scoring position but we were missing the two-out hits or the ball
in the gap and that’s what we’re starting to do. We’re driving the
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 19th save
of the season.
Saunders connected in the second off Joe Blanton (2-12) after
Justin Smoak singled. Kyle Seager singled and Smoak walked to lead
off the fourth, and a sacrifice fly by Mike Zunino made it 3-0.
Trumbo hit his 21st homer in fifth to put the Angels on the
Brad Miller singled, Nick Franklin walked and Ibanez doubled to
open the fifth and chase Blanton from the game. Michael Kohn
entered and struck out the side to limit the damage for the
Los Angeles rallied in the sixth. Alberto Callaspo hit a two-out
single with the bases loaded to score Mike Trout and Howie Kendrick
as the Angels pulled within a run.
NOTES: Mariners RHP Stephen Pryor will begin a rehab assignment
with Single-A Everett either Monday or Tuesday of this week. He has
been on the disabled list since April 15 with a torn back muscle.
… Blanton leads the league in losses (12), hits allowed (148) and
home runs allowed (23). … Mariners 3B Kyle Seager extended his
hitting streak to 14 games. Since June 30 Seager is batting .442
with two doubles, five home runs, 10 RBI, eight walks and 16 runs
scored. … Angels CF Mike Trout extended his hitting streak to 10
games. He’s batting .417 with four doubles, two triples, two home
runs, six RBI, five walks and eight runs scored since July 3. …
Angels 2B Alberto Callaspo extended his hitting streak to nine
games. … Iwakuma is not expected to pitch in the All-Star game