Lopez’s blast forces extra innings
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jose Lopez hit a game-tying three-run homer in the ninth inning off closer Brian Fuentes and Yuniesky Betancourt delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the 10th, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
Fuentes came on in the ninth inning, trying to preserve 30-year-old rookie Matt Palmer’s sixth victory without a loss in seven starts. But Lopez had other ideas. He drove a 1-1 pitch to left field with one out, after the left-hander gave up singles to Adrian Beltre and Russell Branyan.
The blown save was the third for Fuentes in 16 attempts, and his fourth in his past 40 overall.
Wladimir Balentien led off the 10th with a double against Jose Arredondo (1-2), advanced on a sacrifice by Franklin Gutierrez and just beat the throw home from left fielder Gary Matthews Jr. after he caught Betancourt’s fly ball near the foul line.
Miguel Batista (3-1) pitched one inning for the victory. David Aardsma pitched a perfect 10th for his eighth save in as many attempts.
Maicer Izturis led off the Angels’ seventh inning with a grounder to first base that Branyan misplayed for one of Seattle’s A.L.-worst 41 errors.
One out later, Erick Aybar drove a 1-0 pitch by Felix Hernandez over the head of center fielder Gutierrez to break the scoreless tie.
The Angels added two runs in the eighth against Brandon Morrow, as Vladimir Guerrero scored on a bases-loaded groundout by Izturis and Matthews added an RBI single.
Hernandez was charged with an unearned run and six hits over 6 2/3 innings and struck out six. The 23-year-old right-hander finished the month 1-4 with a 4.34 ERA in six starts, after going 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in five starts during April. Over his career, he is 6-12 with a 5.25 ERA in May – the only month in which he’s had a losing record.
Ichiro Suzuki was 1 for 4 with a first-inning single that extended his hitting streak to 23 games, equaling the second-longest of his big league career and putting him within two of the franchise record he set in 2007.
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