June 19, 2013 in Sports

Morales elevates Mariners in L.A.

Rips go-ahead RBI single in tenth inning
Joe Resnick Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Kendrys Morales beat his former team on Tuesday.
(Full-size photo)

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Kendrys Morales hit an RBI single in the 10th inning against his former team, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

Charlie Furbush (1-3) faced only one batter to get the victory, striking out Josh Hamilton with runners at first and second to end the ninth. Rookie Yoervis Medina got three outs for his first major league save.

Kyle Seager sparked the winning rally with a two-out double in the 10th against Garrett Richards (2-4). Morales, who struck out his previous three times up, then lined a 3-2 pitch off the glove of shortstop Erick Aybar to give Seattle the lead.

It was only the third RBI for Morales in 30 at-bats against the Angels since he was traded to the Mariners in December for pitcher Jason Vargas.

Seattle grabbed the lead on consecutive homers by Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak in the second inning against Joe Blanton. But Mark Trumbo connected in the bottom half, and Albert Pujols tied it with a leadoff drive against Tom Wilhelmsen in the eighth.

Hamilton grounded into a double play his first three times up and struck out his next two at-bats. The 2010 AL MVP, who signed a five-year, $125 million contract in December, is batting .213 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs in 69 games.

Jeremy Bonderman pitched six innings of six-hit ball and Oliver Perez got three outs before Wilhelmsen yielded Pujols’ 12th homer on an 0-1 pitch. Until then, right-handed batters were only 5 for 48 against Wilhelmsen, who had not allowed a home run this season in 29 1-3 innings.

The 30-year-old Bonderman, who missed the previous two seasons due to injuries, is 1-0 with a sparkling 0.90 ERA over 20 innings covering his last three starts. The Mariners signed him to a minor league contract in January.

The Angels, who outscored Seattle 30-4 in the previous three meetings, got their first run when Trumbo drove Bonderman’s first pitch of the second into the rock pile in left-center for his team-high 16th homer and first since June 1. It ended Bonderman’s streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings, equaling his career best from 2007 with Detroit.

Blanton gave up six hits in 6 2-3 innings and tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, following an eight-day stretch between starts to work with pitching coach Mike Butcher on his fastball command.

Blanton, whose no-decision left him at 1-10, still shares the major league lead in losses with former Philadelphia Phillies teammate Cole Hamels. He has a 5.62 ERA in his first 14 starts with the Angels after signing a two-year, $15 million contract in December.

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