Wells’ big day helps M’s go out with bang
SEATTLE — Casper Wells tied a career-high with five RBIs including a three-run homer in Seattle’s six-run seventh inning, and the Mariners closed out the season with a 12-0 rout of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
Angels’ star rookie Mike Trout went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double leading off the sixth and a single in the eighth to finish the season with a .326 average. That was good for second in the A.L. batting race, but pretty much locked up the Triple Crown for Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.
Angels starter Jered Weaver pitched just one inning before leaving the game. Weaver (20-5) had a chance to become the fourth pitcher in Angels history to reach 21 wins, but called it a season early after giving up two runs, two hits and walking two batters in the first inning. The team said Weaver had “general fatigue” as the reason he threw just one inning.
Weaver finished the season tied with Tampa Bay’s David Price for the most wins in the A.L. and his 2.81 ERA was good for third in the league. He seemed disinterested from the start, walking Dustin Ackley on four pitches to open the bottom of the first and later walked John Jaso throwing four straight balls after getting ahead 0-1.
The Angels, who had the fourth-highest payroll in baseball this season at $160 million after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, finished with 89 wins but just a spectator for the postseason unable to overcome an awful start to the season.
And it was a rough final day for Trout. He was plunked in the back by Seattle starter Blake Beavan (11-11) leading off the game, then thrown out by Jesus Montero trying for his 50th steal of the season. It was just the ninth runner all season thrown out by the Mariners rookie catcher.
Trout finally reached base in the sixth when he doubled just inside the right-field line and took third on Kole Calhoun’s flyout to center. Albert Pujols then popped out down the right-field line and Trout tagged up and tried to score. Wells’ throw was on target and beat Trout by a few steps.
Trout was trying to become just the third rookie in A.L. history to finish with130 or more runs and the company would have been elite. Joe DiMaggio scored 132 runs in 1936 and Ted Williams had 131 in 1939.
Wells added a two-run single in the sixth to give Seattle a 6-0 lead and cruise to a second straight victory to close the regular season. Wells’ homer in the seventh was his 10th of the season and capped an inning that included a two-run single by Carlos Triunfel. Montero added three RBIs earlier in the game, a pair coming on a two-out double in the third.
Every batter in the Mariners starting lineup scored at least once and the 12 runs were the most scored at home all season.
Seattle finished 75-87, an eight-game improvement over 2011. Kyle Seager also added an RBI double off Weaver in the first inning to push his team-leading total to 86.
Beavan threw eight innings, bouncing back from a poor start last weekend in Oakland where he failed to finish the fifth inning. He allowed seven hits and no strikeouts. Beavan ended the year going 8-5 after the All-Star break and will likely be part of the Mariners rotation in 2013.
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