Fluky play saves day in Mariners win
SEATTLE – Carlos Peguero’s two-out groundball in the seventh inning ricocheted off second base, over the head of Los Angeles shortstop Erick Aybar and into center field to score a pair and help give the Seattle Mariners a 3-1 win over the Angels on Wednesday night.
Erik Bedard (4-4) threw seven shutout innings and Seattle salvaged the finale of the three-game series with the Angels with the best team in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies, headed to town for a three-game interleague series this weekend.
Seattle loaded the bases on Angels starter Ervin Santana (3-7) thanks to a double from Chone Figgins and intentional walks to Ichiro Suzuki and Justin Smoak. On the seventh pitch, Peguero dribbled his grounder back up the middle.
Aybar was in position to make the play, but dropped his arms to his side in frustration as the ball hopped into center field to score Figgins and Ichiro.
The runs snapped a streak of 19 straight scoreless innings by the Mariners after they were shut out Tuesday night and made a winner out of Bedard, who gave up just three hits in seven innings.
And it was the second time this season Seattle, and Peguero specifically, got an awkward, lucky break to beat the Angels. On May 19, Peguero’s ninth-inning fly ball got lost in the sun by Torii Hunter, allowing Jack Cust to score the winning run.
Seattle added some cushion in the bottom of the eighth when Greg Halman hit his first major league homer, off Angels reliever Rich Thompson.
Bedard won his third straight decision, but it was his first win since May 25 at Minnesota. And he was at his best, giving up a pair of singles in the second inning to Vernon Wells and Peter Bourjos and a double in the fifth to Bourjos. Both times, the Angels left a runner stranded at third base.
Bedard struck out five and walked none, getting to a three-ball count on just three of the 24 batters he faced.
Bedard also got a little defensive help early that kept the Angels off the board.
Seattle left fielder Mike Carp kept the game scoreless in the second inning when he jumped at the wall and robbed Mark Trumbo of a possible home run. Carp’s leaping grab came where the left-field wall jumps up about 10 feet and it was difficult to determine if Trumbo’s shot would have cleared the fence.
Either way, it was a big play as Wells could have scored if not for Carp’s grab. Franklin Gutierrez also made a diving catch on Aybar leading off the fifth inning.
The Angels got one run back in the eighth off reliever David Pauley, who gave up a pair of walks and Aybar’s RBI single to right that scored Bourjos.
Brandon League then pitched the ninth for his A.L.-leading 19th save in 22 chances.
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