June 6, 2012 in Sports

Ichiro, Seager guide Mariners to win

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki hits a solo homer in the eighth.
(Full-size photo)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ichiro Suzuki homered and scored three times, Kyle Seager drove in four runs and the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-6 on Wednesday night.

Michael Saunders added three hits to complete an impressive road trip. Saunders went 19 for 39 (.487) during Seattle’s nine-game jaunt to Texas, Chicago and Anaheim, including five games with at least three hits. He had two homers and five RBIs while raising his batting average from .224 to .277.

Shawn Kelley (1-2) won in relief of starter Hector Noesi, but it was reliever Stephen Pryor who got the big outs. Pryor stifled potential Angels rallies in the sixth and seventh innings with double-play balls.

Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.

Saunders wasn’t the only Mariners player to swing the bat well on the trip. Seattle scored 64 runs in the nine games and had 12 hits Wednesday, including two each by Ichiro, Seager, Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero.

Seager had a two-run single in the sixth that turned out to be the difference.

Everyone in the Angels starting lineup except for Maicer Izturis had at least one hit. Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer, his seventh, in the third inning.

Los Angeles starter Jerome Williams (6-3) had been perfect at Angel Stadium, winning all eight of his starts here going back to last season, including his first five this year. But the streak ended Wednesday after he gave up seven runs (five earned) and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.

He didn’t get much help from his defense, particularly Gold Glove shortstop Erick Aybar, whose two-out error in the fifth resulted in two unearned runs.

The bullpen struggled in relief of Williams, who left with two outs in the sixth leading 6-5. Bobby Cassevah entered and gave up a two-run single to Seager that gave the Mariners a 7-6 lead.

Saunders opened the inning with a single and scored on a single by Ichiro that pulled Seattle within 6-5, ending Williams’ night.

Ichiro added a solo homer in the eighth, his fourth.

After an efficient first inning — he needed eight pitches to get three outs — Williams was tagged for two runs in the second.

The Mariners had runners on first and second with one out when Williams seemed to get a big out with a strikeout of Miguel Olivo, bringing up Mike Carp, who was hitting just .160. Williams fell behind in the count 3-0, but Carp was swinging and lined Williams’ next pitch into the left-field corner for a two-run double.

The Angels responded in their half after Morales walked and Mark Trumbo singled to begin the inning against Noesi, who was starting in place of Felix Hernandez (sore back). Aybar drove in the Angels’ first run with a double, and Hank Conger followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2.

Morales’ homer in the third gave the Angels a 4-2 lead, which seemed safe the way Williams appeared to be settling in. But things fell apart for Williams and the Angels in the fifth.

Williams quickly retired the first two batters of the inning before Ichiro hit a slow grounder toward shortstop. Aybar appeared to rush in an effort to get the speedy Ichiro, and booted the ball for an error. The Mariners took advantage when Ackley doubled Ichiro to third and Seager brought home both runners with a double that tied it at 4.

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