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Seattle at Anaheim

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Seattle (57-89)100020000390
L.A. Angels (90-57) «020000102551

Napoli's walk-off homer helps Angels maintain best record in majors

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Napoli couldn't remember ever hitting a game-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth, even when he was a kid. So he really enjoyed the first one.

"It was a great feeling," Napoli said Friday night after his teammates mobbed him after his two-out, two-run homer gave the Los Angeles Angels a 5-3 win over Seattle. "I'd never done that before. I was just trying to get a pitch to drive to the gap."

Miguel Batista (1-7) had walked Robb Quinlan with two outs, and Chone Figgins came in to pinch-run.

"I knew if I got the ball in the gap, he could score from first because he can fly," Napoli said.

Instead, he hit a 3-1 pitch from Batista deep over the fence in left, a drive that started the crowd cheering wildly almost as soon as the ball left the bat.

That gave Napoli four RBIs for the game, including a sacrifice fly in the seventh that tied it 3-3, after he singled in Los Angeles' second run in the second inning.

While the homer gave Los Angeles the win, manager Mike Scioscia seemed just as impressed by Napoli's two earlier RBI.

"I really liked the sacrifice fly. He shortened up and hit a really tough pitch," Scioscia said. "And on his (broken-bat single), he got jammed but got just enough of it to get it over the infield."

Jose Arredondo (8-2) pitched a perfect ninth for the victory.

Although they wrapped up the AL West on Wednesday, the Angels still want to secure home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Their 90-57 record is baseball's best.

"Just because we've clinched doesn't mean we're going to lie down," Napoli said. "We're all excited, but we've still got a lot of baseball to play."

The Angels' Juan Rivera led off the seventh with a double against Ryan Rowland-Smith, went to third on Quinlan's groundout and scored the tying run on Napoli's sacrifice fly.

Los Angeles closer Francisco Rodriguez, not needed this time, still has 15 games remaining to try to rewrite the major league single-season saves record. He got his 57th in Thursday night's 7-4 win over Seattle to match Bobby Thigpen's record set in 1990. Rodriguez had moved within one of the mark when he pitched the ninth of the Angels' AL West-clinching victory over the New York Yankees the previous day.

Angels right fielder Vladimir Guerrero left the game after four innings because of soreness in his right knee. Scioscia said he took him out as a precaution and may let him rest for a couple of days.

Adrian Beltre had two hits and drove in two runs for Seattle as he extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest active streak in the majors.

After Beltre doubled home a run in the first, Quinlan's RBI triple and a Napoli's run-scoring single gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead in the second.

The Mariners moved out front with a pair of runs off Joe Saunders in the fifth, on two-out RBI singles by Raul Ibanez and Beltre.

Saunders allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings. Rowland-Smith gave up three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Seattle manager Jim Riggleman said Rowland-Smith pitched well.

"He really gave us every chance. I hated to have had to take him out when I did," Riggleman said. "Napoli had a good night. He got the sac fly and then got the big home run. He can juice the ball."

Notes

  • Los Angeles CF Torii Hunter missed his third consecutive game, sitting out the first two to serve a suspension for a scuffle with New York Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez, and this one to rest a sore quadriceps muscle.
  • Beltre, playing despite needing surgery on the torn ligament in left thumb, is batting .452 (28-for-62) with 13 RBI during his current streak.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mike Napoli drives in four, but the two most important RBI come via his walk-off shot.  (AP)
Mike Napoli drives in four, but the two most important RBI come via his walk-off shot. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

M. Napoli
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Seattle

A. Beltre
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5010012 .311
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4110012 .273
Raul Ibanez, LF4121001 .312
Adrian Beltre, 3B4022000 .270
Jose Lopez, 2B4010003 .292
Wladimir Balentien, CF3010010 .205
   a- Jeremy Reed, PH-CF1000000 .274
Matt Tuiasosopo, DH3000021 .200
   b- Tug Hulett, PH-DH1000011 .231
Kenji Johjima, C2000100 .211
Miguel Cairo, 1B4110002 .245
Totals3539316  
a-grounded out for Balentien in the 8th
b-struck out for Tuiasosopo in the 8th
Batting
2B - Raul Ibanez (43, Saunders), Adrian Beltre (29, Saunders)
RBI - Raul Ibanez (106), Adrian Beltre 2 (76)
2-OUT RBI - Raul Ibanez (34), Adrian Beltre 2 (26)
SB - Miguel Cairo (5, 2nd base off Saunders/Napoli)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Betancourt-Johjima
Seattle Mariners
Ryan Rowland-Smith 6.1433230 3.65
Roy Corcoran (BS,1) 1.2000100 3.25
Miguel Batista (L,4-13) 0.2122101 6.19
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Rowland-Smith 93-61, Roy Corcoran 26-17, Miguel Batista 14-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Rowland-Smith 9-6, Roy Corcoran 4-1, Miguel Batista 2-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Rowland-Smith 24, Roy Corcoran 6, Miguel Batista 4
Los Angeles Angels
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4010001 .235
Garret Anderson, DH3000101 .289
Mark Teixeira, 1B4000002 .302
Vladimir Guerrero, RF2000000 .298
    Kendry Morales, RF2000000 .231
Juan Rivera, LF3210110 .231
Robb Quinlan, 3B3111111 .275
    Chone Figgins, PR0100000 .278
Mike Napoli, C2124100 .226
Brandon Wood, SS3000012 .193
Sean Rodriguez, 2B3000002 .195
Totals2955543  
Batting
2B - Gary Matthews Jr. (15, Rowland-Smith), Juan Rivera (10, Rowland-Smith)
3B - Robb Quinlan (2, Rowland-Smith)
HR - Mike Napoli (16, Batista)
SF - Mike Napoli (5)
RBI - Robb Quinlan (10), Mike Napoli 4 (38)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Napoli 2 (12)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Gary Matthews Jr. 1
E - Robb Quinlan (3, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
Joe Saunders 7833150 3.65
Kevin Jepsen 1100010 0.00
Jose Arredondo (W,8-2) 1000000 1.36
HBP - Johjima (by Joe Saunders)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 100-64, Kevin Jepsen 14-9, Jose Arredondo 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 8-7, Kevin Jepsen 2-0, Jose Arredondo 3-0
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 30, Kevin Jepsen 4, Jose Arredondo 3
Game Information
Attendance - 43743
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Eric Cooper