ANAHEIM, Calif. – David Pauley slumped disconsolately at his locker, struggling to reconcile the twists of the previous 20 minutes.
After bailing the Seattle Mariners out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning, the reliever gave up a ninth-inning homer that undid all of his beautiful work.
Mark Trumbo led off the ninth with the winning shot to center field, leading the Los Angeles Angels past the Mariners 4-3 Friday night for their 14th win over Seattle in their past 16 meetings at Angel Stadium.
Pauley (5-2) has been one of the majors’ best relievers this season, and he kept the Mariners even with Los Angeles after coming in with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth. But Trumbo crushed one bad fastball from Pauley, who had a 1.16 ERA in his previous 28 appearances.
“I knew it as soon as he hit it,” Pauley said. “I knew it as soon as I threw it. It’s a tough one to take. You’re trying everything to get out of the (eighth inning), and then it happens in the ninth.”
Greg Halman had two hits for the Mariners, but they couldn’t overcome Los Angeles’ four solo homers.
After the Angels tied it on Hank Conger’s seventh-inning shot, the Mariners appeared to be in good shape when Pauley induced bases-loaded grounders from Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo to end the eighth.
“We had to scrape and claw to get out of the eighth inning,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “You can live with a solo shot, but not four of them. We also had some opportunities to do a little more offensively, but we didn’t get it done.”
Blake Beavan gave up Aybar’s homer on his second pitch before settling down for another solid effort in his second major league start for the Mariners, yielding six hits and two runs while pitching into the seventh inning. Beavan left with a 3-2 lead, but reliever Jamey Wright immediately gave up Conger’s fifth homer.
Erick Aybar hit a leadoff homer and Vernon Wells also connected for the Angels, who have won 12 of 15.
Mike Trout went 0 for 3 after his abrupt promotion from Double-A for the Angels’ final three games before the All-Star break, but the 19-year-old made a spectacular sprinting catch in center field to end Seattle’s ninth inning.
Trout then got to watch as Trumbo, the Angels’ slugging rookie first baseman, hit Los Angeles’ first game-ending homer of the season into the trees beyond center field.
“I feel good because we got a big win,” said Trout, widely considered the top prospect in baseball. “That catch was definitely a momentum-shifter, I think, and then Trumbo came through for us. It was exciting.”
The Mariners were undone by the Angels’ youth. All-Star closer Jordan Walden (2-2) pitched the ninth for Los Angeles. Conger, Walden, Trumbo and Trout are all major parts of the youthful core coming up simultaneously for the Angels.
“We’ve got some young guys on our club who we’re counting on to piece together a puzzle on what we believe is a championship-caliber club,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
The Angel Stadium crowd was eager for its first real look at Trout, the youngest player to debut in the majors since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez – who’s slated to face Trout on Sunday – in 2005. He’s also the youngest Angels player in 40 years.
Trout has torn through the low minors since the Angels picked the Millville, N.J., native in the first round in 2009, but Scioscia said Trout’s stint might not last through next week, when center fielder Peter Bourjos is expected to return from a strained right hamstring. Bourjos was injured in the eighth inning Thursday night.
Trout’s defense is Scioscia’s favorite attribute. Franklin Gutierrez hit a powerful drive into the right-center gap for Seattle with two outs in the ninth, but Trout somehow sprinted under the ball as it tailed away from him at the wall.
Angels 4, Mariners 3
|Seattle||001||110||000 – 3||7||1|
|Los Angeles||100||100||101 – 4||9||0|
E – Ryan (8). LOB – Seattle 4, Los Angeles 6. 2B – Halman (2). HR – Aybar (6), V.Wells (13), Conger (5), Trumbo (15). RBIs – I.Suzuki (23), Ryan (26), Smoak (43), Aybar (38), V.Wells (33), Trumbo (38), Conger (16). SB – I.Suzuki (23), Halman (4). CS – Trumbo (4). SF – Ryan, Smoak. RLISP – Seattle 3, Los Angeles 3.
IR-S – J.Wright 1-0, Laffey 1-0, Pauley 3-0. T – 2:37. A – 40,161 (45,389).