Angels fall apart in 5th inning, fall to Mariners
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Michael Saunders probably would like to stay on the road a little longer.
Saunders had three hits to complete a fantastic trip and the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-6 on Wednesday night for their second consecutive victory.
Ichiro Suzuki homered and scored three times, while Kyle Seager drove in four runs.
Saunders went 19 for 39 (.487) during Seattle's nine-game jaunt to Texas, Chicago and Anaheim, including five games with at least three hits. He had two homers and five RBIs while raising his batting average from .224 to .277.
"Michael had a great trip," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "And it didn't just start on this trip -- he's had great at-bats all year. He's giving himself every opportunity, he's battling and putting himself in good position to hit."
Saunders wasn't the only Mariners player to swing the bat well on the trip. Seattle scored 64 runs while going 5-4 and had 12 hits Wednesday, including two each by Suzuki, Seager, Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero.
Seager had a two-run single in the sixth that turned out to be the difference.
The Mariners are 17-20 away from home, having played the most road games of any team in the majors, and 9-13 at Safeco Field.
"This was a great road trip for us. We're playing with a lot of confidence," Seager said. "Anytime you win, you're going to have a lot of fun."
Shawn Kelley (1-2) won in relief of starter Hector Noesi, but it was reliever Stephen Pryor who got the big outs. Pryor stifled potential Angels rallies in the sixth and seventh innings with double-play balls.
Brandon League pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Tom Wilhelmsen worked a scoreless ninth for his second save.
"We had a lot of tight situations," Wedge said. "Pryor really stepped up."
Everyone in the Angels starting lineup except for Maicer Izturis had at least one hit. Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer and drove in three.
"There was more we could do offensively, but this wasn't an offensive letdown," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We had leads and couldn't hold it."
Los Angeles starter Jerome Williams (6-3) had been perfect at Angel Stadium, winning all eight of his starts there going back to last season, including his first five this year. But the streak ended Wednesday after he gave up seven runs (five earned) and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.
He didn't get much help from his defense, particularly Gold Glove shortstop Erick Aybar, whose two-out error in the fifth led to two unearned runs.
"I felt fine. Just in crucial moments I had to make a pitch and didn't make it," Williams said. "I was trying to be aggressive, but they got hits off me. You tip your cap."
The bullpen struggled in relief of Williams, who left leading by one. Bobby Cassevah entered and gave up a two-run single to Seager that gave the Mariners a 7-6 lead.
Saunders opened the inning with a single and scored on a single by Suzuki that pulled Seattle to 6-5, ending Williams' night.
Suzuki added a solo homer in the eighth, his fourth.
After an efficient first inning -- he needed eight pitches to get three outs -- Williams was tagged for two runs in the second.
The Mariners had runners on first and second with one out when Williams seemed to get a big out with a strikeout of Miguel Olivo, bringing up Mike Carp, who was hitting just .160. Williams fell behind in the count 3-0, but Carp was swinging and lined Williams' next pitch into the left-field corner for a two-run double.
The Angels responded in their half after Morales walked and Mark Trumbo singled to begin the inning against Noesi, who was starting in place of Felix Hernandez (sore back). Aybar drove in the Angels' first run with a double, and Hank Conger followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2.
Morales' homer in the third gave the Angels a 4-2 lead, which seemed safe the way Williams appeared to be settling in. But things fell apart for Williams and the Angels in the fifth.
Williams quickly retired the first two batters of the inning before Suzuki hit a slow grounder toward shortstop. Aybar appeared to rush in an effort to get the speedy Suzuki, and booted the ball for an error. The Mariners took advantage when Ackley doubled Suzuki to third and Seager brought home both runners with a double that tied it at 4.
NOTES: After an off day Thursday, the Angels embark on a six-game trip in National League ballparks, where they will not have a designated hitter. Scioscia said he expects to play Morales at first base for at least two of those games, moving Albert Pujols to third. ... Hernandez hopes to start Sunday against the Dodgers. He said he tweaked his back Friday against the White Sox. ... The Angels made a noteworthy selection on the final day of the first-year player draft, taking RHP Kenny Hatcher, nephew of former Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, in the 36th round. Kenny Hatcher played at Dallas Baptist University. ... The Mariners also selected a player with major league bloodlines, taking Michael Yastrzemski, grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, in the 30th round. Michael Yastrzemski is a junior outfielder at Vanderbilt. ... Angels C Chris Iannetta, out since May 9 with a broken right wrist, could begin a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend.