SEATTLE – Throughout the final month, with losses coming more often than wins, Seattle manager Eric Wedge noticed a resolve among his younger players as they went out day after day against teams in contention for the postseason.
Wedge is hoping those lessons learned this September are being used by his club a year from now in their own charge toward the postseason.
“I feel good about it. I do. You’re never satisfied but I’m proud of the way these kids have played,” Wedge said. “July and August were good months for us and very consistent months for us but I’m more proud of how they fought through September and all those teams we played in a playoff atmosphere every night for three weeks straight.”
Casper Wells tied a career high with five RBIs including a three-run home run 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.
Seattle spent the final few weeks with a chance to help determine postseason fates. Their final 18 games came against teams headed for the postseason or in the chase into the final days. Seattle went just 6-12, but lessons were learned.
“We have a lot of young guys that are starting to find their way,” Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak said.
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, two 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. Kyle Seager had a run-scoring double off Jeff Weaver in the first inning to push his team-leading RBI total to 86.
Seattle finished 75-87, an eight-game improvement over 2011.
“We have confidence in each other and we have a good group of guys here,” Seager said. “We took some major steps forward this year and I think we’re going to continue.”
Blake Beavan (11-11) threw eight innings. He allowed seven hits with no strikeouts. He went 8-5 after the All-Star break and will likely be part of the M’s rotation in 2013.
Seattle also kept Angels’ star rookie Mike Trout from making baseball history. Trout went 2 for 3 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.
It was a rough final day for Trout. He was plunked in the back by Beavan 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 was trying to become just the third rookie in A.L. history to finish with 130 or more runs scored and the company would have been elite. Joe DiMaggio scored 132 runs in 1936 and Ted Williams had 131 in 1939.
Seattle drew 15,614 and an unofficial final total of 1,723,286. That is the lowest total since Safeco Field opened and second straight year the Mariners failed to draw 2 million.
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