|Seattle (36-56) «||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||5||1|
|L.A. Angels (50-45)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||6||0|
Lopez hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 10th inning, helping the Mariners beat the Angels 2-1 on Sunday and snap an eight-game losing streak to the three-time defending AL West champions.
Vargas allowed one run and four hits through 7 2/3 innings, matching his longest outing of the season, and had a career-high nine strikeouts on the fifth anniversary of his first major-league start.
"I had pretty good control of the changeup and I was able to get ahead with it and with my fastball. So there's definitely more potential for me to strike more people out," Vargas said. "But wins are the most important thing."
The left-hander has held the Angels to four earned runs over 21 innings in his three assignments against them this season. On May 9 at Anaheim, he yielded an unearned run over 7 1/3 innings in an 8-1 victory against Santana.
"Vargas is smart, and his changeup is pretty good," said Torii Hunter, who was 1 for 4 on his 35th birthday. "He uses it like 60-70 percent of the time, so you pretty much knew what you were going to get. You could sit on it, but you still couldn't hit it. He was using his fastball to set up his changeup and kept guys off-balance."
The Mariners' winning rally began when Ichiro Suzuki drew a leadoff walk from Kevin Jepsen (2-2) and advanced on Chone Figgins' sacrifice bunt. He then was caught in a rundown on a Franklin Gutierrez's grounder to shortstop. Gutierrez stole second and scored when Lopez lined a 2-1 pitch to left field.
Brandon League (6-6) worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the victory after replacing Vargas, and David Aardsma got three outs for his 17th save in 21 attempts. He ended it by striking out Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick with runners at first and second.
Hideki Matsui, the Angels' primary designated hitter, made his 15th start in left field and was 0 for 3. In the sixth inning, he called off Hunter -- a nine-time Gold Glove center fielder -- on a flyball by Gutierrez.
"He called me off in English -- loud, too," Hunter said with a laugh. "He kept yelling `I got it! I got it!' So I just ran behind him and let him have it. I kept looking at him and I said: `Man, go ahead. Take it!' I was scared of him, actually, because he's a big guy. We were cracking up and the whole bullpen was cracking up."
Santana allowed a run, three hits and four walks over seven innings and struck out seven. Over his last 14 starts, the Angels' offense had totaled 60 runs in his seven victories and just seven in the other seven outings.
"I hate that we don't come through for that guy and get runs, because he's been pitching his butt off," Hunter said.
Santana, whose teammates were no-hit through the first six innings in each of his previous two starts, was staked to a 1-0 lead in the second when Mike Napoli hit a first-pitch homer to left-center with two out for his 16th of the season. But Santana's wild pitch allowed Ryan Langerhans to score the tying run in the fifth.
"I've had a lot of at-bats against him, and I think today he had the best slider that I've ever seen him have. And he's always had good life on his fastball," Mariners shortstop Jack Wilson said.
The Angels had a great chance to regain the lead in the sixth after Kendrick led off with a triple to center field over Gutierrez's head. But Kendrick was unable to advance on Bobby Abreu's grounder to first with the infield in, and Vargas escaped the jam when Wilson snared Hunter's line drive on the lip of the grass before doubling up Kendrick -- who was halfway down the line.
"To be honest, I thought he scored on that ground ball by Abreu," Vargas said. "I was about to go into my windup to Hunter and Rob (catcher Rob Johnson) told me to look over there, and it surprised me. But I'm not even worried about him if he scores. If he does, he does. If he doesn't, he doesn't. I'm just trying to get the next guy out."
|Franklin Gutierrez comes home on Jose Lopez's single for the deciding run against the Angels. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||3||0||0||0||2||0||2||.318|
|Chone Figgins, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.228|
|Franklin Gutierrez, CF||4||1||0||0||1||1||1||.256|
|Jose Lopez, 3B||5||0||2||1||0||1||2||.243|
|Milton Bradley, DH||4||0||1||0||1||2||2||.207|
|Justin Smoak, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.213|
|Ryan Langerhans, LF||3||1||0||0||1||2||0||.191|
|Rob Johnson, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.205|
|Josh Wilson, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.264|
|SH - Chone Figgins (6)|
|RBI - Jose Lopez (39)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Lopez (14)|
|SB - Franklin Gutierrez 2 (13, 2nd base off Santana/Mathis, 2nd base off Jepsen/Mathis), Ryan Langerhans (4, 2nd base off Santana/Mathis)|
|PK - Milton Bradley (1, Santana)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Wilson-J. Lopez|
|E - Chone Figgins (10, Misplayed grounder)|
|Brandon League (W,6-6)||1.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||3.64|
|David Aardsma (S,17)||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||5.22|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 102-71, Brandon League 16-12, David Aardsma 21-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 6-8, Brandon League 2-1, David Aardsma 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 28, Brandon League 5, David Aardsma 5|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Erick Aybar, SS||5||0||0||0||0||2||4||.282|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||5||0||2||0||0||3||2||.279|
|Bobby Abreu, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.259|
|Torii Hunter, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.288|
|Juan Rivera, RF||4||0||0||0||0||3||1||.249|
|Hideki Matsui, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.249|
|Reggie Willits, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.247|
|Mike Napoli, 1B||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.255|
|Kevin Frandsen, 3B||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.290|
|Jeff Mathis, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.242|
|a- Paul McAnulty, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.136|
|a-walked for Mathis in the 10th|
|3B - Howard Kendrick (2, Vargas)|
|HR - Mike Napoli (16, Vargas)|
|SH - Kevin Frandsen (1)|
|RBI - Mike Napoli (39)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Napoli (14)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Kevin Jepsen (L,2-2)||1||1||1||1||1||1||0||4.64|
|IBB - Suzuki by Ervin Santana|
|WP - Ervin Santana 2 (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 117-70, Fernando Rodney 19-13, Brian Fuentes 9-6, Kevin Jepsen 19-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 5-9, Kevin Jepsen 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 28, Fernando Rodney 5, Brian Fuentes 3, Kevin Jepsen 5|
|Attendance - 38883|
|Game Time - 2:59|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Bob Davidson|