April 26, 2013 at 6:00 PM
Angels beat Mariners 6-3, game thread
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Final — Seattle had one last chance in the ninth, aided by an error by star outfielder Mike Trout that allowed Kendrys Morales on second to lead off. Smoak earned a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate, but catcher Kelly Shoppach popped out and Ackley grounded out to third. The M’s stranded 13 runners and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position (the one hit was Ackley’s where Smoak got thrown out at home).
10:36 p.m. — Last-chance time as closer Ernesto Frieri is in.
10:28 p.m. — More chances squandered as Chavez and Ryan get on to start the inning, but Bay grounds into a double play and Seager strikes out. Still 6-3 L.A.
10:02 p.m. — The Mariners get back-to-back two-out singles by Smoak and Shoppach. Dustin Ackley is in to pinch hit for Andino. Now Scott Downs is in as a relief pitcher. Ackley hits a grounder into the hole, but Kendrick knocks it down and throws out Smoak at home! Wow. Still 6-3 Angels.
9:36 p.m. — Charlie Furbush has come in after Hector Noesi allowed a sacrifice fly to Albert Pujols. The Angels lead is up to 6-3. Josh Hamilton strikes out and Yoervis Medina is in (he strikes out Mark Trumbo and it’s stretch time).
9:18 p.m. — Seattle pulls another run back in the sixth to make it 5-2 Angels. Sean Burnett is in to replace L.A. starter C.J. Wilson, with Robert Andino on third and one out.
Then Ryan follows with a sacrifice bunt to make it 5-3, and he nearly beats it out at first base. The inning ends and eight runners have been left on base tonight for the M’s.
9:08 p.m. — A bright spot? Hector Noesi has settled things down with three scoreless inning in relief.
8:56 p.m. — The Mariners aren’t making their chances count as they load the bases again, this time with one out, but Morse pops out and Smoak strikes out. As my colleague Larry Stone points out, Smoak is 2-for-21 in his career with the bases loaded (eight strikeouts, two singles).
8:16 p.m. — Kyle Seager singles sharply to center to lead off the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. That’s the longest active streak in MLB this season and the Mariners’ longest since Mike Carp went 20 games in 2011.
Seattle gets the based loaded with no one out as Kendrys Morales follows with a single and Michael Morse walks. Kelly Shoppach “drives” in a run to make it 5-1 after getting hit on the left elbow, but strikes out by Justin Smoak, Robert Andino and Endy Chavez limit the damage in what could’ve been a big inning.
8:04 p.m. — A swinging bunt single by Robert Andino gives Seattle its only hit of the evening through three innings. Hector Noesi has relieved Harang to start the fourth.
7:51 p.m. — Make that 5-0 Angels as Mark Trumbo blasts a two-run home run to center here in the top of the third. Hector Noesi warming up.
7:35 p.m. — The Los Angeles lead is up to 3-0 after a two-run home run by Federal Way-born catcher Hank Conger to right. Rough start for Harang.
Injury update: Class AAA prospect Danny Hultzen has been diagnosed with a left rotator cuff strain and tendinitis. Treated with rest and rehab, the left-handed pitcher is expected to miss two weeks.
7:19 p.m. — The Angels opened the game with back-to-back singles by Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout, followed by a sacrifice fly by Albert Pujols to deep center field to take a 1-0 lead. Harang did well to avoid further damage in the first inning by striking out Josh Hamilton swinging and then getting Mark Trumbo to line out to center.
7:10 p.m. — The first pitch has been thrown (a strike) and we are underway. The WWU men’s and women’s basketball teams threw out the ceremonial first pitches. Peter Bourjos ends up singling to left on the second pitch. Interesting note, Aaron Harang would even his career record at 106-106 with a win.
Pregame — Good evening everyone. I’m on loan from our soccer coverage to work tonight’s Mariners game. Seattle will be looking to win back to back for the first time since the season’s first two games.
In some pregame notes, outfielder Jason Bay is hitting leadoff for the first time in his 11-year career. Of course injuries play a factor into that, but manager Eric Wedge said he also wanted to avoid having two lefties in a row at the top of the lineup (you’ll notice there are a lot of right-handed guys hitting) and praised Bay’s ability to work a count.
Bay, a Gonzaga product who had hit leadoff a couple times in spring training, said his approach won’t change at all: “I’m just trying to get at bats wherever I can.”
Elsewhere, Dustin Ackley got the night off. Wedge, who noted the second baseman has done better the past 7-10 days, explained: “We’re still picking days off for people. … Don’t forget, we’re still in a 30 for 31 stretch. That’s about as real as it gets.”
Lastly, Monday is the earliest Michael Saunders will be back from his rehab assignment in Tacoma, Wedge said. The plan is to have the outfielder back once he can play center field, not just as a DH.
“He’s anxious to get back,” Wedge said of Saunders.