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Anaheim at Seattle

L.A. Angels
W: J. Arredondo (10-2) L: J. Putz (6-5)
S: S. Shields (4)
HR: ANA - V. Guerrero (26), V. Guerrero (27)   SEA - Y. Betancourt (7)

Angels 6, Mariners 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- Vladimir Guerrero's latest big game was so impressive that Torii Hunter wanted no part of hitting behind him.

Guerrero hit two home runs -- including a two-run shot in the ninth inning -- and the Los Angeles Angels moved closer to securing home field throughout the playoffs with a 6-4 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.

"I don't know how he gets to those (pitches)," Hunter said. "You people don't understand how hard it is to hit behind him after he puts on a show like that. (Wednesday) he hit a ball that could have been a home run and it was in the dirt. I saw dirt come off the bat. I thought, 'Wow, how can I back up that?' "

With the victory, Los Angeles (99-60) closed in on the best record in the American League and home-field advantage. Tampa Bay (96-63), which lost to Detroit 7-5, is three games back with three to play.

The Angels also matched the franchise record for victories in a season, set by the 2002 team that won the World Series, and extended the franchise record for road victories to 50.

Jose Arredondo (10-2), who allowed a tying two-run homer to Yuniesky Betancourt in the seventh, was the winner. Scot Shields got three outs to earn his fourth save.

Mark Teixeira hit a one-out single off J.J. Putz (6-5) in the ninth and was replaced by a pinch runner before Guerrero drove the first pitch from the Seattle closer into the bullpen in left for his 27th home run and his 36th multihomer game.

"I've pitched him there many times and got groundballs pitching up and in like that," said Putz, who had held Guerrero to five singles in 15 previous at-bats. "It didn't even sound good. The guys on the bench said they thought it broke his bat.

"You can't really throw him a pitch he doesn't like -- but that is what makes him so good. He is so strong -- a very tough guy to pitch."

Guerrero, who was 7-for-15 in the series with five RBI, has a career .363 average against Seattle with 26 home runs and 77 RBI.

"He doesn't discriminate when it comes to teams," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's having a pretty good career against a lot of teams and a lot of pitchers."

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki singled to left in the first for his 1,800th hit in his eight-year major league career. He is the quickest to that level for any player starting his career after 1954. He reached it in 1,277 games. Wade Boggs is second best at 1,352 games.

Betancourt then walked and Raul Ibanez singled in Suzuki. With two outs, Wladimir Balentien doubled down the left-field line to make it 2-0.

Down 2-1 entering the sixth, Guerrero led off with a home run off Randy Messenger. The ball appeared to bounce off the glove of right fielder Balentien, into the stands and then back onto the field. Mariners manager Jim Riggleman came out to protest but was satisfied by umpire Chuck Meriwether's explanation without going to a replay for the second successive night.

Hunter then singled to left, stole second and advanced to third on Howie Kendrick's flyout. With the infield in, Gary Matthews Jr. hit a hard grounder to second baseman Luis Valbuena, who quickly threw home. But Hunter eluded Kenji Johjima's sweep tag for a 3-2 lead.

Hunter also singled in a run in the seventh for Los Angeles, which will play host to Texas in a weekend series to close the regular season.

"That's what we been fighting for, getting 100 wins," Hunter said. "For this organization, it's going to mean a lot. For me, it's going to mean a lot because I don't think I ever won 100 games when I was in Minnesota. We still have a lot of things to fight for, 100 games, home-field advantage. We have stuff to push for."


Scioscia, who has two quality catchers in Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis, is leaning toward certain tandems for the postseason. "I feel good interchanging those guys with anybody but the matchups on the pitcher-catcher end just really points to Ervin (Santana) and Jeff, who do a great job together, and Mike and John (Lackey)." Lackey and Santana will likely start the first two games.

Copyright 2016 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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Players of the Game

V. Guerrero
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 2

Y. Betancourt
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 1

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B5010004 .275
Garret Anderson, DH5000011 .293
Mark Teixeira, 1B5120001 .309
    Reggie Willits, PR-RF0100000 .196
Vladimir Guerrero, RF4323100 .304
    Kendry Morales, 1B0000000 .232
Torii Hunter, CF4121100 .281
Howie Kendrick, 2B3010102 .309
Gary Matthews Jr., LF3001211 .238
Mike Napoli, C3021012 .265
Erick Aybar, SS4010003 .277
HR - Vladimir Guerrero 2 (27, Messenger, Putz)
SF - Mike Napoli (6)
SH - Howie Kendrick (1)
RBI - Vladimir Guerrero 3 (90), Torii Hunter (78), Gary Matthews Jr. (45), Mike Napoli (45)
2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter (23)
SB - Torii Hunter (19, 2nd base off Messenger/Johjima), Erick Aybar (7, 2nd base off Messenger/Johjima)
CS - Chone Figgins (13, 2nd base by Jimenez/Johjima)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Teixeira
E - Erick Aybar (18, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
Dustin Moseley 5622130 6.79
Kevin Jepsen (H,3) 1.1111110 4.91
Jose Arredondo (BS,6; W,10-2) 1.2111211 1.65
Scot Shields (S,4) 1000000 2.74
Pitches-Strikes - Dustin Moseley 86-55, Kevin Jepsen 26-16, Jose Arredondo 34-18, Scot Shields 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin Moseley 5-7, Kevin Jepsen 1-2, Jose Arredondo 2-2
Batters Faced - Dustin Moseley 22, Kevin Jepsen 6, Jose Arredondo 8, Scot Shields 3
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, DH5220013 .311
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4212101 .272
Raul Ibanez, LF4011100 .297
Jose Lopez, 1B4010002 .295
Jeremy Reed, CF4000024 .268
Wladimir Balentien, RF3011101 .201
Kenji Johjima, C4000013 .223
Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B3010111 .158
Luis Valbuena, 2B4010002 .195
2B - Wladimir Balentien (12, Moseley), Matt Tuiasosopo (2, Moseley)
HR - Yuniesky Betancourt (7, Arredondo)
RBI - Yuniesky Betancourt 2 (49), Raul Ibanez (108), Wladimir Balentien (22)
2-OUT RBI - Wladimir Balentien (13)
Team LOB - 8
Seattle Mariners
Cesar Jimenez 3.2211300 3.44
Randy Messenger 1.2322111 3.65
Sean Green 1.2311000 4.81
Roy Corcoran 1100000 3.21
J.J. Putz (L,6-5) 1222121 3.97
WP - Sean Green (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Cesar Jimenez 51-28, Randy Messenger 40-25, Sean Green 25-16, Roy Corcoran 6-4, J.J. Putz 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cesar Jimenez 6-4, Sean Green 4-2, Roy Corcoran 2-1, J.J. Putz 1-0
Batters Faced - Cesar Jimenez 15, Randy Messenger 9, Sean Green 9, Roy Corcoran 4, J.J. Putz 6
Game Information
Attendance - 16939
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski