|L.A. Angels (44-49)||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||3||8||0|
|Seattle (43-52) «||0||2||0||1||1||0||0||0||x||4||7||0|
SEATTLE -- Hisashi Iwakuma kept his pitches down and the ball in the ballpark. Most of the time.
Iwakuma (8-4) allowed a solo home run to Mark Trumbo, but kept the Angels to three runs over seven innings as Seattle completed its first sweep of the season by beating the Los Angeles Angels 4-3 Sunday.
It was an improvement on a lousy month by the Mariners All-Star, who had allowed at least four runs in each of his previous five starts and 10 home runs over his last four outings.
"He was good. Just a couple bad misses but he was downhill better. He executed pitches better," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Following his previous outing -- his shortest of the season allowing six runs in three innings against Boston -- Iwakuma noted some minor mechanical adjustments he needed to fix to get back on track. Against the Angels, Iwakuma had a better feel for his fastball and was able to mix in his breaking pitches more effectively.
He struck out seven for his first win since June 10.
"Today, overall, I thought I had a better fastball. I had more life with my fastball," Iwakuma said through a translator. "I was able to make an adjustment. I gave up one home run but then overall I thought I had better command than I did the last couple of starts."
The day didn't go nearly as well for Angels starter Joe Blanton.
Blanton (2-12) left the game after allowing the first three runners to reach base in the fifth inning. His four innings pitched was the shortest outing of an already tumultuous season and Blanton appeared to snap in the dugout after coming off the mound in the fourth. Blanton attacked a water cooler and threw it to the ground and appeared to engage in a verbal altercation with catcher Chris Iannetta.
Iannetta called it "a miscommunication" but wouldn't elaborate on the incident. Blanton was also mum on specifics but chalked it up to frustration.
"Any time things aren't going good it kind of brings things to a little volcano, a little head, whatever you want to call it," Blanton said.
"Things aren't going well. You try and do more out there competing with everything. Things happen. Guys get mad at giving up runs, striking out. It's part of it sometimes."
The Mariners have now homered in 22 consecutive games, the longest streak in the majors since Atlanta's 23-game run in 2006. Seattle's string is the best by an AL club since Texas set the big league record with 27 in 2002.
Seattle's long-dormant offense has come alive in recent weeks. They currently lead the majors for home runs in July and are second in batting average and runs scored for the month.
"We're doing our jobs. We're getting runners in from third base. We're moving runners over." Saunders said. The biggest thing that was lacking was we were taking our walks, we were getting into scoring position but we were missing the two-out hits or the ball in the gap and that's what we're starting to do. We're driving the ball more."
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 19th save of the season.
Trumbo hit his 21st homer in fifth to put the Angels on the board.
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels|
|J.B. Shuck, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.294|
|Mike Trout, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.322|
|Albert Pujols, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.249|
|Josh Hamilton, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.224|
|Howie Kendrick, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.310|
|Mark Trumbo, 1B||3||1||1||1||1||2||2||.245|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||4||0||1||2||0||0||1||.271|
|Chris Iannetta, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.211|
|a-Hank Conger, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.256|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.290|
|a-flied out for Iannetta in the 9th|
|2B - Albert Pujols (19, Furbush), Howie Kendrick 2 (15, Iwakuma)|
|HR - Mark Trumbo (21, Iwakuma)|
|RBI - Mark Trumbo (57), Alberto Callaspo 2 (33)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alberto Callaspo 2 (21)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels|
|Joe Blanton (L,2-12)||4||5||4||4||4||2||1||5.53|
|Dane De La Rosa||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||3.53|
|IBB - Seager by Michael Kohn|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 94-52, Michael Kohn 18-9, Dane De La Rosa 18-10, Scott Downs 7-3, Ernesto Frieri 16-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 3-7, Dane De La Rosa 1-1, Scott Downs 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 21, Michael Kohn 4, Dane De La Rosa 4, Scott Downs 3, Ernesto Frieri 4|
|Brad Miller, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.246|
|Nick Franklin, 2B||1||0||0||0||3||1||1||.268|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.267|
|Kendrys Morales, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.280|
|Kyle Seager, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.293|
|Justin Smoak, 1B||3||1||2||0||1||1||3||.272|
|Michael Saunders, RF||4||1||1||2||0||1||5||.225|
|Mike Zunino, C||3||0||1||1||0||1||1||.230|
|Dustin Ackley, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.205|
|2B - Raul Ibanez (10, Blanton), Justin Smoak (13, Frieri)|
|HR - Michael Saunders (6, Blanton)|
|SF - Mike Zunino (1)|
|RBI - Raul Ibanez (56), Michael Saunders 2 (24), Mike Zunino (7)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Hisashi Iwakuma (W,8-4)||7||7||3||3||1||7||1||3.02|
|Charlie Furbush (H,8)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||3.52|
|Tom Wilhelmsen (S,19)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.95|
|IBB - Trumbo by Hisashi Iwakuma|
|Pitches-Strikes - Hisashi Iwakuma 96-68, Charlie Furbush 13-11, Tom Wilhelmsen 14-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hisashi Iwakuma 6-8, Tom Wilhelmsen 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Hisashi Iwakuma 29, Charlie Furbush 4, Tom Wilhelmsen 3|
|Attendance - 25629|
|Game Time - 2:51|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Hal Gibson, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Marvin Hudson|