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Mariners end eight-game losing streak against Angels

Ervin Santana is roughed up for four runs with two outs in the fourth inning of an 8-1 loss in Seattle.

May 09, 2010|By Kevin Baxter

Reporting from Seattle -- It was hard to say what hurt the Angels more in Sunday's 8-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners, the balls that were hit or the ones that weren't.

Two of the balls that were hit landed on the other side on the wall, with Seattle's Josh Wilson and Michael Saunders belting back-to-back homers off the Angels' Ervin Santana in the fourth inning.

But two of the runners that scored in that inning reached base without touching the ball, with Ken Griffey Jr. and Ryan Langerhans drawing consecutive walks to start the two-out rally. And another run came home in the eighth inning when Franklin Gutierrez picked up an RBI without bothering to swing, accepting a walk from reliever Brian Stokes with the bases loaded.

Control has been a problem all season for the Angels, whose pitchers issued seven free passes Sunday and lead the majors with 141 walks.

On the other side Seattle left-hander Jason Vargas was in control from the start, scattering four hits over 7 1/3 innings and setting down 11 in a row at one point, helping the Mariners snap an eight-game losing streak.

The Angels, who saw their own seven-game losing streak end in their first game in Seattle on Friday, scored their only run in the eighth when Reggie Willits, the last batter Vargas faced, raced home from second on what should have been an inning-ending strikeout. But reliever Brandon League's pitch got away from catcher Adam Moore and went all the way to the backstop, allowing Kendry Morales to reach as Willits, who had walked, came home.

League then struck out Juan Rivera with two runners on to end the threat.

About four hours before game time the Mariners, last in the league in scoring and last in the majors in batting and homers, fired hitting coach Alan Cockrell and replaced him with triple-A instructor Alonzo Powell.

Four innings later Wilson and Saunders both of whom were with Powell in the minors just a week ago made the move look brilliant by hitting their first home runs of the season.

The Mariners tacked on another run in the fifth when Ichiro Suzuki led off with a single, stole second and scored on Gutierrez's double to center, then added three insurance runs in the eighth, when Stokes walked four.

And the Mariners, who finished with 12 hits, should have had more. But Willits threw out Jose Lopez at the plate to end the second inning and Rivera gunned down Gutierrez at home in the fifth.

Ichiro finished with three hits and three stolen bases for Seattle while Wilson had a single and triple to go with his homer, driving in three runs and falling a double shy of the cycle when he walked with two out in the eighth.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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