Youngsters Beavan, Robinson give M’s winning spark
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Far out of playoff contention, the Seattle Mariners have turned to a youth movement as they bank on the future. Blake Beavan and Trayvon Robinson are two reasons for optimism.
Beavan pitched in and out of trouble through eight impressive innings, Robinson hit his first major league homer in his second game up from Triple-A, and Seattle beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 on Saturday night.
“We’re going to make some young mistakes from time to time, but they’re going to learn from it,” M’s manager Eric Wedge said. “They’re starting to understand that and they’re taking ownership of it, too.”
Former Angels postseason star Adam Kennedy hit a two-run double for the Mariners, who are 6-3 since a franchise-record 17-game losing streak. The victory was only their third in their last 20 games at Angel Stadium.
Beavan (3-2) allowed a run and eight hits, struck out two and walked none in his sixth big league start.
The 22-year-old right-hander has pitched into the seventh inning in every one of them. He faced the Angels on July 8 at Seattle, getting a no-decision after giving up a pair of solo homers over 6 1/3 innings.
“The biggest thing I try to do is just throw strikes and get ahead and let your defense do the work,” Beavan said. “I’m not a strikeout guy, so I try to locate everything.”
Brandon League worked the ninth in a non-save situation after Beavan threw 103 pitches.
“I’ve been impressed with all of Blake’s outings, but his last two I felt like he was using all his weapons more effectively and really balancing it out with his fastball and his secondary stuff,” Wedge said. “If he hadn’t thrown 113 pitches in his last outing on regular rest, I probably would have sent him back out there for the ninth.”
Robinson, a 23-year-old switch-hitter who made a sparkling big league debut on Friday night by robbing Torii Hunter of a two-run homer in the left-field corner, made it 5-0 in the seventh with an opposite-field drive to left-center on Tyler Chatwood’s 106th and final pitch. He wasn’t sure it had gone out and held up at second for a few moments before completing his trip around the bases.
“That’s good. That means he’s got his head down and he’s running,” Wedge said. “In time, he’ll know when he hits them out of the ballpark.”
Robinson hit 64 home runs during a 61/2-year minor league career that was spent mostly in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ system.
“That was wild. I couldn’t believe it,” Robinson said. “I just tried to put a good swing on it and it jumped off the bat. When I got to second base, I was like, ‘Good. I hit a double,’ because I only hit nine doubles in the minors this year – so I figure now I’m in double digits. Then I saw the umpire wave his hand, and I was like, ‘Hey, that’s even sweeter.’ It’s the best feeling. It’s the best week of my life. Every day is something new.”
Beavan worked with runners on base in each of the first seven innings. He got a break in the Angels’ third, when speedy Peter Bourjos was held up by third-base coach Dino Ebel on a sharp single to right fielder Ichiro Suzuki. Erick Aybar followed with an inning-ending double-play grounder.
E—Seager (2). LOB—Seattle 3, Los Angeles 6. 2B—Ja.Wilson (4), Carp (6), A.Kennedy (18), Abreu (20), Bo.Wilson (5). HR—Robinson (1). RBIs—Carp (14), A.Kennedy 2 (34), Olivo (48), Robinson (1), Bo.Wilson (4). SB—I.Suzuki (29), Bourjos (15). CS—Olivo (4), Tor.Hunter (6). RLISP—Seattle 2, Los Angeles 5.
|Beavan W, 3-2||8||8||1||1||0||2||2.83|
|Chtwood L, 6-8||61/3||7||5||5||1||6||4.10|
HBP—A.Kennedy. WP—Beavan 2. T—2:33. A—42,017 (45,389).