July 15, 2013 in Sports

Iwakuma rights ship to earn 8th victory as M’s sweep Angels

Curtis Crabtree Associated Press

SEATTLE – Hisashi Iwakuma kept his pitches down and the ball in the ballpark. Most of the time.

Iwakuma (8-4) allowed a solo home run to Mark Trumbo, but kept the Angels to three runs over seven innings as Seattle completed its first sweep of the season by beating the Los Angeles Angels 4-3 Sunday.

It was an improvement on a lousy month by the Mariners All-Star, who had allowed at least four runs in each of his previous five starts and 10 home runs over his last four outings.

“He was good. Just a couple bad misses but he was downhill better. He executed pitches better,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.

Following his previous outing – his shortest of the season allowing six runs in three innings against Boston – Iwakuma noted some minor mechanical adjustments he needed to fix to get back on track. Against the Angels, Iwakuma had a better feel for his fastball and was able to mix in his breaking pitches more effectively.

He struck out seven for his first win since June 10.

“Today, overall, I thought I had a better fastball. I had more life with my fastball,” Iwakuma said through a translator. “I was able to make an adjustment. I gave up one home run but then overall I thought I had better command than I did the last couple of starts.”

The day didn’t go nearly as well for Angels starter Joe Blanton.

Blanton (2-12) left the game after allowing the first three runners to reach base in the fifth inning. His four innings pitched was the shortest outing of an already tumultuous season and Blanton appeared to snap in the dugout after coming off the mound in the fourth. Blanton attacked a water cooler and threw it to the ground and appeared to engage in a verbal altercation with catcher Chris Iannetta.

Iannetta called it “a miscommunication” but wouldn’t elaborate on the incident. Blanton was also mum on specifics but chalked it up to frustration.

“Any time things aren’t going good it kind of brings things to a little volcano, a little head, whatever you want to call it,” Blanton said.

“Things aren’t going well. You try and do more out there competing with everything. Things happen. Guys get mad at giving up runs, striking out. It’s part of it sometimes.”

Michael Saunders hit a two-run homer and Raul Ibanez had an RBI double as the Mariners topped Los Angeles for the third straight day.

Los Angeles ABRHBIBBSOAvg.
Shuck lf 400002.294
Trout cf 411001.322
Pujols dh 401000.249
Hamilton rf 400002.224
H.Kendrick 2b 412000.310
Trumbo 1b 311112.245
Callaspo 3b 401200.271
Iannetta c 300001.211
Conger ph 100000.256
Aybar ss 402000.290
Totals 3538318
B.Miller ss 411000.246
Franklin 2b 100031.268
Ibanez lf 401100.267
K.Morales dh 400001.280
Seager 3b 311011.293
Smoak 1b 312011.272
M.Saunders rf 411201.225
Zunino c 301101.230
Ackley cf 400001.205
Totals 3047457
Los Angeles 000012000—380
Seattle 02011000x—470

LOB—Los Angeles 6, Seattle 8. 2B—Pujols (19), H.Kendrick 2 (15), Ibanez (10), Smoak (13). HR—Trumbo (21), off Iwakuma; M.Saunders (6), off Blanton. RBIs—Trumbo (57), Callaspo 2 (33), Ibanez (56), M.Saunders 2 (24), Zunino (7). SF—Zunino. RLSP—Los Angeles 3, Seattle 4. RISP—Los Angeles 1 for 7; Seattle 1 for 10. RMU—M.Saunders, Ackley.

Blanton L,2-12 4544425.53
Kohn 1000132.54
DeLaRosa 1100013.53
S.Downs 1000001.33
Frieri 1100012.88
Iwakuma W,8-4 7733173.02
Furbush H,8 1100013.52
Wilhelmsen S,19 1000003.95

IR-S—Kohn 2-0. IBB—Seager, Trumbo. T—2:51. A—25,629 (47,476).

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