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L.A. Angels (32-40) «00000100x160

Wilson outdules Saunders, Angels edge Mariners on wild pitch

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- In a game in which every pitch was critical, the only run scored on a wild pitch. That's all that separated C.J. Wilson and Joe Saunders.

Wilson outdueled the former Angels left-hander with seven innings of two-hit ball, leading Los Angeles to a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.

"Every pitch counts, obviously," Wilson said. "I had this exact kind of game to Jered Weaver a couple of years ago and lost 1-0 on a flyball that Endy Chavez dropped. Mike Trout scored the run after I hit him in the foot, so it was kind of like turnabout is fair play."

Wilson (6-5) struck out three, walked two and allowed only two runners as far as second base en route to his fifth straight victory over the Mariners.

"I've faced these guys three times this year, and they pretty much have an idea of what my repertoire is. So it's about executing," Wilson said. "I can't fool them on stuff right down the middle because they're not going to get surprised if I throw a slider or a changeup, so I have to hit the corners."

Saunders matched zeros with Wilson through five innings, scattering four hits before Trout legged out a leadoff double to left field in the sixth. He advanced after a flyball to right by Albert Pujols and scored on a 2-2 pitch to Mark Trumbo that bounced in the dirt and away from catcher Mike Zunino. It was the first wild pitch of the season for Saunders in 89 2-3 innings to that point.

"It was a tough one, but I'm more mad at myself for letting a run score on a wild pitch," Saunders said. "It was a changeup down. I was trying to get him to hit it on the ground."

Kendrys Morales' Baltimore-chop single toward third base leading off the second inning was Seattle's only hit until Kyle Seager's leadoff single in the seventh. But Wilson froze Raul Ibanez on a called third strike in the seventh with runners at first and second, and escaped the inning unscathed when Trout ran down Zunino's drive in front of the bullpen fence.

"It's Mike Trout. Put a cape on him. He's great out there," Wilson said. "That was one of the few curve balls I threw all night, and he was looking for it. It was a strike and he hit it. I was lucky that he didn't hit it higher.

"... They put a lot of balls in play, so it really wasn't a really dominating game for me. I was just making good pitches, but I don't think I had exceptional stuff. That's why I wasn't able to get the strikeouts, which usually are kind of my bail-out if there's a problem in the inning."

Scott Downs pitched a perfect eighth and Ernesto Frieri did likewise in the ninth for his 16th save in 17 attempts.

"It's one of those things where runs were hard to come by tonight," Saunders said. "We didn't score any runs, so you've just got to hang with him. He stepped up his game and I stepped up my game, and it was one of those pitchers' duels. I just picked the wrong day to pitch."

Saunders (5-7) went the distance for the ninth time in 204 career starts, allowing six hits over eight innings with three strikeouts and two walks. A first-round draft pick by the Angels in 2002, he made only one other start against them since he was traded to Arizona in July 2010 for Dan Haren. That was on June 16, 2012, at the "Big A," when he lost 2-0 on a two-run homer in the first inning by Trumbo.

Slumping Josh Hamilton was dropped to seventh in the Angels' lineup by manager Mike Scioscia, one night after he grounded into double plays his first three times up and struck out twice. It was the first time that the 2010 AL MVP started a game in the seven hole since Aug. 5, 1990, with the Texas Rangers. But the change didn't help, as he went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and saw his average dip to .210.

"We've got to figure out something," Hamilton said. "Some players wear emotions on their sleeves and break things, but I'm not going to break my bat on the field because there's kids watching. If they don't think I care, they're mistaken because it hurts me more than it hurts anybody not to be performing."

Notes

  • Peter Bourjos was stranded at third base in the third inning when Saunders induced a double-play grounder by Albert Pujols. The Angels have grounded into a major league-worst 77 DPs, 11 of them in the last five games.
  • Kendrick lined a single through the box in the sixth, knocking Saunders' glove right off his hand.
  • Wilson, who spent his first five big league seasons as a reliever with the Rangers, reached the 1,000-inning mark when he retired Michael Saunders on a foul popup to end the second.
  • Erick Aybar got his 100th career stolen base and first since April 30, surpassing Dick Schofield as the Angels' career leader among shortstops.
  • Wilson is 8-1 against Seattle in 10 starts since the beginning of the 2011 season.
 
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Players of the Game
Los Angeles

C. Wilson
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 2
K 3
Seattle

J. Saunders
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 2
K 3
 

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Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Endy Chavez, RF4000000 .288
Nick Franklin, 2B4000010 .280
Kyle Seager, 3B4010000 .278
Kendrys Morales, DH4010001 .276
Michael Morse, 1B2000011 .252
Raul Ibanez, LF2000123 .230
Mike Zunino, C2000103 .200
Michael Saunders, CF3000012 .202
Brendan Ryan, SS3000000 .197
Totals2802025  
Batting
SB - Kyle Seager (3, 2nd base off Wilson/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Franklin-Morse, Ryan-Franklin-Morse-Franklin-Morse
E - Nick Franklin (3, Misplayed grounder)
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Saunders (L,5-7) 8611230 4.48
WP - Joe Saunders (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 100-58
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 13-7
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 31
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Peter Bourjos, CF4020001 .330
Mike Trout, LF3110101 .308
Albert Pujols, DH3000103 .263
Mark Trumbo, 1B4010002 .264
Howie Kendrick, 2B3000000 .328
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3010001 .251
Josh Hamilton, RF3000021 .210
Erick Aybar, SS3010011 .271
Chris Iannetta, C3000001 .212
Totals2916023  
Batting
2B - Peter Bourjos (3, Saunders), Mike Trout (22, Saunders), Alberto Callaspo (10, Saunders)
SB - Erick Aybar (2, 2nd base off Saunders/Zunino)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Aybar-Trumbo
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
C.J. Wilson (W,6-5) 7200230 3.61
Scott Downs (H,13) 1000010 1.83
Ernesto Frieri (S,16) 1000010 2.61
WP - C.J. Wilson (6)
HBP - Morse (by C.J. Wilson)
Pitches-Strikes - C.J. Wilson 113-69, Scott Downs 12-7, Ernesto Frieri 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.J. Wilson 9-8, Ernesto Frieri 1-1
Batters Faced - C.J. Wilson 25, Scott Downs 3, Ernesto Frieri 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35401
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - John Hirschbeck