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Seattle at Anaheim

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Seattle (72-67)1000000010262
L.A. Angels (82-55) «0010100001362

Angels 3, Mariners 2 (10)

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- More than 90 feet after the game ended, Erick Aybar was still sprinting around second base with his arms flapping. Running away from some celebrating teammates and toward another pack, he looked like a striker who had just scored a World Cup-winning goal.

His Los Angeles Angels have been putting soccer-style numbers on the scoreboard all too often lately, yet they're still finding ways to stay on top of the AL West.

Aybar's two-out single drove home Bobby Abreu in the 10th inning, and the Angels overcame All-Star closer Brian Fuentes' latest blown save for a 3-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

Mike Sweeney led off the ninth with a solo home run to center off Fuentes, erasing Scott Kazmir's outstanding home debut. The Angels' new left-hander left with a 2-1 lead after battling Seattle ace Felix Hernandez through the first seven innings, but he has received meager run support from one of the majors' top offenses.

"I'm just glad we got the win tonight, no matter who got it," said Kazmir, who has allowed only six hits in his two starts since arriving in a trade with Tampa Bay last month. "That doesn't matter to me right now. I'm just trying to go out there and put up as many zeros as I can and go as deep as I can."

The Angels have scored more than three runs only once in seven games in September, yet they've won four of their past five. They still lead the majors in average with runners in scoring position, yet they went 1 for 12 on Tuesday, adding to their precipitous slump in that category in recent weeks -- yet that one hit came at an ideal moment.

Abreu led off the 10th with a single off Miguel Batista (6-4). After Abreu reached third base on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout, the Mariners intentionally walked Kendry Morales to pitch to Aybar, who drilled a grounder up the middle for his first hit of the night.

"If you look at Erick, he's grown as a player," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's not intimidated by any situation out there, whether it's offense or defense. He's just going to think about making plays and not mistakes."

Aybar's winner limited the damage done to Los Angeles' division lead by Texas' doubleheader sweep of Cleveland. Los Angeles leads the Rangers by 4½ games, with seven games still to play against each other.

Matt Palmer (10-1) pitched the 10th inning for the Angels, reaching double-digit victories in his first full major league season.

After Kazmir and reliever Kevin Jepsen limited the Mariners to three hits in the first eight innings, Sweeney immediately connected for his seventh home run against Fuentes, who then walked two Mariners before leaving to a cascade of boos. Jason Bulger killed the rally by retiring pinch-hitters Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Carp.

"It seems like whenever one of us doesn't get it done on any given night, there's always someone there to step up and pick each other up," outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. said. "Tito [Fuentes] has more than carried his load this year. If he happens to have a tough night, it's great to be able to pick him up, but those nights are few and far between for him."

Fuentes is tied for the AL lead with 39 saves, yet his sixth blown save denied a victory to Kazmir, who yielded three hits over seven innings and won his rematch with Hernandez.

Seattle's All-Star right-hander also allowed three hits in seven innings, but the Angels capitalized on each of his four walks, with Chone Figgins scoring an unearned, go-ahead run on Jack Wilson's error in the fifth.

"I knew it was going to be a low-scoring game," Matthews said. "Kaz is throwing the ball extremely well for us, and so has Hernandez. We were just in the back there, talking about how many wins [Hernandez] would have if he played for us. I mean, can you imagine?"

Kazmir made an outstanding debut for the Angels last week in Seattle, pitching 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball and retiring 18 straight at one point in a 3-0 loss to Hernandez, who yielded four hits over eight innings.

"It was another good game between Kazmir and me," Hernandez said. "Today I didn't have my great command. I didn't have my best stuff. [The three-walk third inning] was unbelievable. I think in my whole career, that was the worst."

Franklin Gutierrez hit a first-inning home run for the Mariners, who have lost three straight.

"We lost a tough game, and time is running out," Sweeney said as the Mariners dropped 11 games behind Los Angeles and 8½ behind Boston in the wild-card race. "We're in September, and we can't be losing many more games if we want to be playing ball in October."

Notes

Ichiro Suzuki went 0 for 5, snapping his seven-game hitting streak and leaving him five hits short of his ninth consecutive 200-hit season. ... The Mariners hope 1B Russell Branyan will resume working out when the club returns to Seattle next week. Branyan went on the disabled list late last month with a back injury.

 
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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Players of the Game
Anaheim

B. Abreu
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Seattle

M. Sweeney
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5000010 .358
Franklin Gutierrez, CF5111001 .285
Jose Lopez, 1B-2B5020000 .268
Mike Sweeney, DH4121100 .277
Adrian Beltre, 3B4000114 .261
Bill Hall, LF4010011 .208
Jack Wilson, SS2000211 .251
Josh Wilson, 2B3000001 .216
   a- Ken Griffey Jr., PH1000012 .217
    Kenji Johjima, C0000000 .244
Rob Johnson, C3000013 .220
   b- Mike Carp, PH-1B1000002 .286
Totals3726246  
a-struck out for Wilson in the 9th
b-grounded out for Johnson in the 9th
Batting
HR - Franklin Gutierrez (16, Kazmir), Mike Sweeney (7, Fuentes)
RBI - Franklin Gutierrez (58), Mike Sweeney (29)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - J. Wilson-Wilson-J. Lopez
E - Jack Wilson 2 (11, Misplayed grounder)
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez 7321430 2.61
Mark Lowe 2100210 3.00
Miguel Batista (L,6-4) 0.2211100 4.55
IBB - Morales by Miguel Batista
WP - Mark Lowe (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 113-69, Mark Lowe 29-16, Miguel Batista 18-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 12-7, Mark Lowe 2-3, Miguel Batista 2-0
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 29, Mark Lowe 9, Miguel Batista 5
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B2100210 .304
Maicer Izturis, 2B4010103 .295
Bobby Abreu, RF4121000 .300
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4010005 .293
    Terry Evans, PR-DH0000000 .000
   a- Reggie Willits, PH-DH0000000 .206
Torii Hunter, CF5010004 .306
Kendry Morales, 1B4000120 .310
Erick Aybar, SS5011001 .305
Mike Napoli, C3100112 .275
Gary Matthews Jr., LF2000200 .242
Totals3336274  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Evans in the 10th
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu (24, Hernandez)
SF - Bobby Abreu (7)
SH - Chone Figgins (8), Reggie Willits (3)
RBI - Bobby Abreu (91), Erick Aybar (52)
2-OUT RBI - Erick Aybar (26)
SB - Torii Hunter (16, 2nd base off Hernandez/Johnson)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Figgins-Izturis-Morales
PB - Mike Napoli (4)
E - Chone Figgins 2 (14, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
Scott Kazmir 7311241 5.43
Kevin Jepsen (H,12) 1000000 4.60
Brian Fuentes (BS,6) 0.1111211 4.08
Jason Bulger 0.2000010 3.45
Matt Palmer (W,10-1) 1200000 4.13
WP - Scott Kazmir (11), Jason Bulger (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 103-68, Kevin Jepsen 11-8, Brian Fuentes 24-13, Jason Bulger 7-6, Matt Palmer 21-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 7-11, Kevin Jepsen 1-2, Jason Bulger 1-0, Matt Palmer 3-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 27, Kevin Jepsen 3, Brian Fuentes 4, Jason Bulger 2, Matt Palmer 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37725
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - Derryl Cousins